A former Ohio sheriff's major said she was fired by her former boss because she's a lesbian. Now she's the new sheriff in town.

Charmaine McGuffey campaign adCharmaine McGuffey is the first woman to be elected sheriff in Hamilton County, Ohio.
  • A longtime sheriff’s office employee in Hamilton County, Ohio, was fired in 2017 and said she believed it was because some didn’t like that she was an openly gay woman and a whistleblower.
  • She decided to run against the sheriff who fired her in the Democratic primary and won. Last night she was victorious in the general election, beating out her Republican opponent.
  • Charmaine McGuffey is now the first woman to be elected sheriff in the county.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Charmaine McGuffey worked for more than three decades in the Hamilton County, Ohio, sheriff’s office, eventually being named Major and placed in charge of the jail in 2013.

Four years later, the local Sheriff Jim Neil fired McGuffey following an investigation that alleged she created a “hostile work environment,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

McGuffey, though, said she lost her job for being a whistleblower exposing concerns about use of force in the department, and because some in the department didn’t like that she was an openly gay woman, the newspaper reported.

The law enforcement veteran sued the department and then ran against Neil in the Democratic primary, beating him in a landslide. On Tuesday, she was elected the county’s first female sheriff, defeating her Republican opponent, Bruce Hoffbauer, with 52% of the vote, The Enquirer reported.

Hoffbauer is also a law enforcement veteran.

Winning the election “would mean that our country is moving forward,” McGuffey told LGBTQ Nation in March, “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.”

McGuffey’s lawsuit is pending and set to go to trial on December 7, the Enquirer reported.

A federal judge had previously allowed the case to move forward after finding “obvious differences” in how the department had handled McGuffey’s internal affairs investigation compared to those of other employees.

Read the Cincinnati Enquirer coverage of the sheriff’s race »»

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