A Mississippi mayoral candidate has created a stir by not only admitting to her past as a prostitute but also acknowledging one of her clients is now her husband.
Linda Fondren, of Vicksburg, Miss., says she engaged in the profession legally more than three decades ago at a Nevada brothel.
“I was a working girl in a legal brothel over 30 years ago,” Fondren told WLGBT-TV. “It’s true, my husband was my client. My husband and I have been married for 28 years. I knew it would surface because it was around. I just didn’t think it would surface and I would be sitting here doing an interview with you today.”
Fondren, who told the Associated Press she “hated” the profession and wouldn’t support it if elected mayor, claims harsh circumstances forced her to consider prostitution. Chiefly, she cites a pregnancy at 14 and her mom’s death due to cancer as the primary factors that led her into the industry.
Although prostitution is not the typical professional background for a mayoral candidate, some individuals are optimistic that it could serve Fondren well in politics.
Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel in Carson City, Nev., says a past career in prostitution is no reason to exclude a candidate.
“Legal prostitutes can go on to careers in medicine, law, and education, and they fund those educations with the money that they earn here at brothels like The Bunny Ranch” Hof said. “I couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments, and I sincerely believe that Linda Fondren’s time working as a legal prostitute in Nevada has given her the necessary business acumen to be a very successful mayor.”
Since leaving the brothel business and moving to Vicksburg, Fondren has earned a national reputation for her efforts at fighting obesity. In 2010, she was declared a CNN Hero for creating Shape Up Vicksburg, a 17-week weight loss challenge that later evolved into a walking club.