In an interesting twist, a transgender Satanist and police skeptic is running for sheriff of a New Hampshire county as a Republican.
Aria DiMezzo, a polyamorous transgender woman in her 30s, is a candidate for Cheshire County sheriff who won the Republican nomination in September, when she was the only person to appear on the GOP ballot.
DiMezzo originally wanted to run as a Libertarian — as she had in 2018 — but decided to run as a Republican because it would have required her to collect signatures from voters in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Anyone who takes a look at me knows pretty much right off the bat that I’m clearly not a Republican,” DiMezzo told The Associated Press, referring to her dyed red hair and a series of tattoos on both arms.
As part of her platform, DiMezzo supports gun rights and limited government, but promises to be harsh on police who are accused of wrongdoing. She suggests having deputies “pull over police for harassing peaceful citizens,” and some of her signs incorporate the symbol for anarchy over a sheriff’s badge and include the phrase: “Fuck the Police.”
“If the police were these fine upstanding honorable people just investigating crimes where there are victims and were serving and protecting people, I wouldn’t have an issue with that. But that is not what they are doing,” she said. She added that she would fire any deputies who have been accused of brutality or misconduct, and even consider charging them with crimes.
DiMezzo, who is challenging incumbent Sheriff Eli Rivera (D), says she’s using the Republican Party infrastructure to help her campaign, but she never hid the fact that she was not a doctrinaire Republican or that she was a skeptic of policing.
“I never hid any of it,” she told the AP. “Anyone who bothered to Google me would have found all this stuff about me and they would have seen the anti-cop things that I was posting all over social media.”
DiMezzo is a high priest of the Reformed Satanic Church, which she runs out of her house, but clarifies that her church doesn’t believe Satan exists. Instead, the church “stands for individualism and voluntarism, and opposes the god of the day,” which she says is the state.
Due to her controversial platform positions, DiMezzo says she’s been attacked in online forums, had a homophobic slur spray-painted on her car, and has even seen some local Republicans throw their support behind a pro-law enforcement write-in candidate in an effort to undermine her bid for office. However, she has said the overall response to her campaign has been positive. Some locals have even speculated that she could draw votes not only from Libertarian-types, but Democratic-leaning voters who are more skeptical of law enforcement.
“When I walk down the street, people cheer. They tell me they are going to vote for me,” DiMezzo said. “It’s great.”
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