CINCINNATI — Democrat Charmaine McGuffey has been elected Hamilton County's next Sheriff. McGuffey garnered 52% of the vote to Republican Bruce Hoffbauer’s 48%.
McGuffey will be both the first woman and first openly gay sheriff in Hamilton County.
McGuffey, a retired major and former jail commander, spent her 33-year career in the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, largely within the realm of the Justice Center, the third-largest jail in the state of Ohio.
McGuffey campaigned on police reform, which includes creating a citizens review board, a liaison unit and a Human Resources unit.
She is expected to hold a post-election press conference at the Hamilton County Justice Center Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
Hoffbauer began a 34-year career in 1985 as a Hamilton County deputy initially assigned to the Corrections Division. In 1986, he entered the 68th recruit class of the Cincinnati Police Academy as a police recruit. He retired as a lieutenant from the department earlier this year.
During the campaign, Hoffbauer said he would focus on accountability, honesty and integrity as sheriff. That includes reviewing policies on use of force and tightening up the office’s $80 million budget.
Both candidates campaigned against drastically slashing the budget for local law enforcement offices, or “defunding police.” They also agreed that no-knock warrants, recently under scrutiny after the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, are a necessary tool that should be used sparingly.
Commanding a staff of 850 employees, the sheriff also oversees the Hamilton County Justice Center, security at the Hamilton County Courthouse and deputies on patrol.