Even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to legalize gay marriage nationwide in 2015, Rowan County clerk Kim Davis refused to give David Ermold a same-sex marriage license. Her reasoning? It was “God’s authority.” Davis tried to steal away Ermold's rights and run from the law, but he has decided to run towards it, announcing Wednesday that he’s going for her job in 2018.
“I am running to restore the confidence of the people in our clerk’s office and because I believe that the leaders of our community should...put the needs of their constituents first,” said Ermold, The Associated Press reports.
“This campaign we are putting together," the 43-year-old University of Pikeville English professor continued, "is about unity and bringing people together and restoring fairness."
Davis ended up spending five days in jail for contempt of court in 2015, but that hasn’t stopped her from pushing her beliefs about gay marriage elsewhere. The New York Times reported that she recently went campaigning around Romania where she described it as “an attack on religious freedom.”
The trip was organized by Liberty Counsel, a conservative advocacy group and self-proclaimed Christian ministry that represented Davis during her 2015 legal battle.
Davis, who became County Clerk in 2014, is running for re-election, but this is the first time she's campaigning since her refusal to issue same-sex licenses made national headlines. Originally elected as a Democrat, she has since switched political parties, and The Associated Press reports that the majority of local elected officials in Rowan County are in fact Democrats.
Three others have also filed to run against Davis, one of whom, Elwood Caudill Jr., lost to her in the 2014 Democratic primary by a mere 23 votes.
Ermold thinks he can win, and Rowan County resident Jackie Matthews agrees. “You have to serve all the people, not just the ones you agree with, she told The Lexington Herald-Leader. “David represents everyone.”
The election will take place on May 22, 2018, and when Ermold filed the paperwork to run, he sat across from Davis to do it — his husband right beside him.