Charmaine McGuffey was elected Tuesday, making her the first woman and openly LGBTQ sheriff in Hamilton County, Ohio.
Aside from becoming the highest-ranking woman in the history of the office, she had the pleasure of beating the man who had previously fired her.
Jim Neil and Charmaine McGuffey have known each other for decades. Now, they’re facing off in the Democratic primary for sheriff. In an interview with Local 12, Neil breaks his silence on the lawsuit McGuffey filed against him and the county: https://t.co/KaRjRGlRst pic.twitter.com/K5mkvOjIkU
— Local 12/WKRC-TV (@Local12) March 14, 2020
Last April, Upworthy reported on a case of sweet revenge in Hamilton County, Ohio and after Election Day, it’s become even sweeter.
It all began three years ago when Charmaine McGuffey was fired from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department by Sheriff Jim Neil. McGuffey claims it happened because she raised concerns over abuse of force by fellow officers and the fact she’s an openly gay woman.
Neil claims he fired McGuffey for creating a hostile work environment. The lawsuit is still pending in federal court. A trial date has been set for December 7.
“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.
McGuffey didn’t just want to beat Neil in court. She decided she would defeat him at the ballot box and take his job, too.
“He fired me. So after about a year or so of contemplating, I decided I can do a better job than him,” she continued.
So she ran against him to be the Democratic nominee for Hamilton County Sheriff earlier this year.
Both candidates are Democrats, but Neil lost a lot of support in the party by appearing on stage with Donald Trump at a 2016 rally. He later provided a sorry-not-sorry excuse for his behavior.
“It was selfish on my part because I didn’t take into consideration the other candidates on the Democratic ballot that are going to be running with me because this could not just impact my votes, but it could impact the votes on anyone on the Democratic ballot. I want to apologize for my actions,” Neil said according to Cincinnati.com.
In the Democratic primary held in April, McGuffey beat Neil in a landslide, winning 70% of the vote.
McGuffey’s victory was the best revenge she could have after being fired for what she believes is discrimination. But she had one more race to win before becoming the new Hamilton County Sheriff.
Her competition on November 3 was Republican Bruce Hoffbauer. Hoffbauer had an uphill climb as a Republican in a heavily Democratic county. He also had trouble overcoming an incident from his past.
In 1990, while on duty, he shot and killed Walter Brown, a Black man, in the hallway of an apartment complex. Brown had charged at Hoffbauer so he was cleared of wrongdoing. But the city manager later concluded he used excessive force.
McGuffey won endorsements from Senator Sherrod Brown, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and former Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls. She also didn’t shy away from discussing her identity on the campaign trail.
Karma showed up and showed out.
As a gay woman working in law enforcement, I know what it's like to be targeted for who I am. I've seen justice and I've seen injustice. And I know we can do better. That's why I'm running for Sheriff. Watch my story and help me win:https://t.co/ktxvqiSuaO pic.twitter.com/aqpwO3trS2
— Charmaine McGuffey (@CharmMcGuffey) October 15, 2020