Winning the Hamilton Co. Sheriff Race in Ohio

In the 2020 election cycle, Operation Change Cincy and SURJ Ohio helped elect progressive candidate Charmaine McGuffey as the new Hamilton County Sheriff beating Republican candidate Hoffbauer.

Hoffbauer had been found guilty of using excessive force to kill an unarmed Black man. If he had won, he would have been the first person in this country in 50 years to have been found guilty of this charge towards  an unarmed Black man and then be elected as Sheriff. 

Over 250 members committed to phone banking for the progressive challenger. SURJ Ohio’s voter phone banks targeted poor and working class voters— the types of folks who make up the majority of people in the criminal justice system— by engaging them around their mutual stake in electing a progressive sheriff. 

Not only did they help win the election, but SURJ Ohio cultivated successful phone banking scripts about mutual interest, developed dozens of new leaders in the program, and built up the membership base of SURJ Ohio. This is what we mean by “transformative electoral work.” We work to get progressive candidates elected by centering issues— the things people need to live with dignity— to build our base of support for the necessary long-haul work. 

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