A lesbian in Ohio just won the Democratic primary for Hamilton County Sheriff. She beat out the current sheriff, who fired her two years ago for being openly gay.
Sheriff Jim Neil fired Charmaine McGuffey in 2017. McGuffey filed a still-pending lawsuit against her former boss, claiming that she got fired for being an openly gay woman and for raising concerns about fellow officers’ behavior.
“The current sheriff and I got into a pretty serious disagreement about the practice of him not holding officers accountable for use of force and harassment of women, female officers, and female inmates,” McGuffey told LGBTQ Nation. “He fired me. So after about a year or so of contemplating, I decided I can do a better job than him.”
McGuffey and Neil have known each other for decades. They’ve both been with the sheriff’s department since the early 1980s, and both are Democrats.
After the two ran against each other in the Democratic primary, McGuffey won by a landslide, claiming 70 percent of votes.
Neil previously faced criticism for appearing on-stage with Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign rally.
“Quite frankly, my opponent has pretended to be a Democrat for many years now, when he’s actually much more aligned with the Tea Party Republicans,” McGuffey said. “He tells people what they want to hear and then doesn’t follow through.”
After her victory, McGuffey told local TV station WCPO that she’s “absolutely thrilled.”
“What made the difference is the message that I have,” she said. “In the end, [voters] realized my values are very different than Jim Neil’s values. My values are very well aligned with the Democratic values.”
McGuffey will run against her Republican opponent in the general election in November. She’s expected to win that race easily, making her the first female and first openly LGBTQ+ elected sheriff in the county.