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Charmaine McGuffey wins race to become next Hamilton County Sheriff

Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 5:46 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Charmaine McGuffey defeated Bruce Hoffbauer Tuesday night to become the next sheriff of Hamilton County.

McGuffey ended the night four points ahead of Hoffbauer with 99 percent of the county’s votes tallied.

The Democrat was the first female commander at the sheriff’s office. She now becomes the first openly gay sheriff in the county’s history.

Election 2020 | Full Election Night Results

“When I was 14 and a little girl, I was told ‘No way, you could never be a police officer because you’re a girl because you’re a woman.' And look where we stand today," McGuffey said the morning after winning the election.

McGuffey ran on a platform of criminal justice reform, including a shift towards rehabilitation in dealing with nonviolent offenders, which she argues will lead to lower rates of recidivism.

“We can create fairness, we can create safe communities by managing this, this jail right here so we present opportunities for people to get on with their lives,” she stated on Wednesday.

McGuffey also ran as an outsider, compelled in part by a series of events in 2017 when she claimed she lost her job because of her gender and sexuality.

She later quit after she was demoted to a lower-paying civilian job when an internal investigation conducted by the sheriff’s office determined she created a hostile work environment for officers, who she said complained out of resentment because she was a high-ranking woman and she tried to investigate use of force cases.

McGuffey sued the sheriff’s office in federal court, saying she was targeted because she wanted to know every single use of force case that occurred, why and how they were resolved.

A federal judge is allowing that lawsuit to proceed, with a trial date set for Dec. 7.

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