A former Hamilton County deputy sheriff who is running against the man she alleges fired her because she’s a lesbian defeated her former boss by winning nearly 70 percent of the vote Tuesday, The Enquirer of Cincinnati reports.
Charmaine McGuffey defeated Jim Neil in the Democratic primary and will now face off against Bruce Hoffbauer, a Cincinnati police lieutenant who was the only candidate in the Republican primary, in November.
McGuffey would be the first Ohio sheriff from the LGBTQ community and one of only a few ever elected in the nation, reports The Advocate. She was endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
“McGuffey and Neil have both been with the sheriff’s department since the early 1980s. Neil was elected sheriff in 2012, and the following year he promoted McGuffey to major in command of jail and court services, making her the highest-ranking woman in the department’s history. In 2015, she was named local and regional Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. The following year, the Ohio House of Representatives named her Public Citizen of the Year. During her tenure, the Hamilton County Justice Center went from being the worst-ranked large jail in Ohio to the best,” reports the news outlet.
“But Neil fired her in 2017. She says it was because she’s a lesbian and she raised concerns about the use of force by officers. He says it was because she created a hostile work environment. She has sued him in federal court, and the lawsuit is still pending,” they added.
Neil has angered many Democrats after he appeared on stage at a rally for Donald Trump in 2016.
He has since apologized for doing so, but he has also faced criticism for allegedly failing to discipline officers for inappropriate use of force.
“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 last month. “He fired me. So after about a year or so of contemplating, I decided I can do a better job than him.”
“[My election] would mean that our country is moving forward,” she said at the time, “that we really have moved away from the 1950s model of law enforcement, where not just women are embraced in the law enforcement world, but also LGBTQ members of the community can wear a uniform and be quite successful.”
“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. He tells people what they want to hear and then doesn’t follow through.”