In a heated, hard-fought primary in Ohio, Democratic Challenger Charmaine McGuffey has ousted Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil, the man she alleges fired her because she’s a lesbian. And she stomped him at the ballot box, winning approximately 70 percent of the vote, cincinnati.com reports.
It was a rare victory, a challenger knocking off an incumbent in a primary and a humiliating defeat a man who won two consecutive terms as sheriff.
Neil’s conservative politics had frustrated many who considered themselves the next generation of Hamilton County Democratic leaders. They did not forget his appearance on stage, in uniform, in 2016 at rally for Donald Trump.
Neil was front and center with his good friend, Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones, a Republican through and through and a Trumpite of the first order, smiling and applauding as the Republican presidential candidate eviscerated Democrats and the media.
McGuffey spent 33 years working in the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO). When she was promoted to Major in Command of jail and court services, she also became the highest-ranking woman in the HCSO’s history.
In 2015 she was honored as the local and regional Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. In 2016, the Ohio House of Representatives named her the Public Citizen of the Year.
“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.”
“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.”
“[My election] would mean that our country is moving forward,” she said at before the vote, “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.”
She will face off with a Republican opponent in the general election and is expected to handily win the race.