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.
Jim Neil and Charmaine McGuffey have known each other for decades. Now, they’re facing off in the Democratic primar… https://t.co/JjCXpkgXV2— Local 12/WKRC-TV (@Local 12/WKRC-TV)1584155700.0
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.
Twitter via CharmMcGuffey / Twitter
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.
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… https://t.co/BIK3GDPdbs— Charmaine McGuffey (@Charmaine McGuffey)1602775912.0
"As a gay woman working in law enforcement, I know what it's like to be targeted for who I am," she said in a campaign ad. "I've seen justice and I've seen injustice. And I know we can do better."
On Tuesday night, McGuffey pulled off a four-point victory over Hoffbauer with 99% of the county's votes tallied. She became the first female commander at the sheriff's office and the first openly gay sheriff in the county's history.
"This is the honor of a lifetime, a dream job for me," she said at a press conference.
"Remember, when I was 14 and a little girl, I was told 'No way, you can never be a police officer because you're a girl. Because you're a woman.' And look where we stand today?" she continued. "I'm so proud of everyone who made this happen."
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