Charmaine McGuffey is running to become the US’s first female and out LGBT+ sheriff of Ohio’s Hamilton County and has released a political ad using her sexual orientation as a selling point.
Her two-minute-long campaign ad proudly puts her lesbian identity at the front, while delivering a strong message about being unfairly targeted for your identity and the need for police reform.
According to ‘LGBTQ Nation’, in the Democratic primary, McGuffey ran against the current Trump-supporting County Sheriff Jim Neil, a man she accused of firing her for being lesbian after she spoke out against departmental abuses. She won approximately 70 percent of the vote, and now she’s facing her Republican candidate Bruce Hoffbauer.
Her new campaign ad begins with an image of her walking into the police restroom and finding the word “dyke” taped to the stall door. “I’ve never been an insider,” her voiceover says. “I wasn’t just a woman working in law enforcement. I was a gay woman — that made me a target, a threat.”
The ad then mentions how, during her 33-year career in law enforcement, she worked her way up the ranks to become the first female major in Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, how she took the county jail from the worst-ranked large jail in Ohio to the best in just three years, and how she was fired after speaking up about the use of excessive force, harassment and accountability in the police department under Neil’s leadership.
“I also know what it feels like to be targeted for who I am and not for something I’ve done, and there are systemic issues that we can no longer ignore,” she says as the ad shows footage of Black Lives Matters protestors demonstrating against systemic racism.
“From notes on the bathroom door to abuse at the very top, I’ve taken on bullies like him my entire career. I stood up to homophobia and sexism, I’ve torn down barriers that were designed to keep people like me from ever getting a fair shot,” she continues in the ad.
The ad ends with her saying, “The courage to do what’s right and just, no matter how difficult it may be, that’s what history is calling us to do, and that’s the kind of sheriff I’ll be.”
McGuffey has been endorsed by the Hamilton County Democratic Party, the LGBTQ Victory Fund, Hamilton County Young Democrats, and former US Representative Gabby Giffords, among others, and was also named local and regional “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” in 2015. Additionally, the Ohio House of Representatives also honored her after she was named Public Citizen of the Year by the Ohio chapter of the National Association of Social Workers in 2016.
Watch her campaign ad here.
Read related myGwork articles here: