David Ermold, who with his partner, David Moore, was denied a licnese in 2015, announced today that he's seeking the Democratic nomination for county clerk in next year's election, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
Kim Davis, county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, first made headlines in the summer of 2015 when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite the Supreme Court's then-new Obergefell v. Hodges ruling saying that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry due to the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses. Ermold and others sued her, and Davis would spend five days in jail for disobeying a federal judge's order.
"My commitment to Rowan County is to restore professional leadership, fairness and responsibility to the clerk's office", Ermold said. "I will build upon the successes of the past, and I will seek solutions for the challenges we may still face". The others are James L. Jessee, Elwood Caudill and Nashia Fife, according to the Kentucky Office of the Secretary of State.
Davis announced she was running for reelection last month.
David Ermold, right, files to run for Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky as Clerk Kim Davis looks on Wednesday.. Davis said she would refuse to allow any of her employees to issue the licenses, as well, though the standoff was eventually resolved when one of her deputies, Brian Mason, began to do so anyway.
Ermold filed his paperwork to run at the county clerk's office where Davis now works.
"The county clerk's office has been in the hands of the same family for nearly 35 years", Ermold told the Herald-Leader. "I think I could win", Ermold told the AP. But everyone should have a fair shot, it should not be something that's handed down from mother to daughter and from daughter to son.
But in May 2017, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived the lawsuit because "We conclude that the district court's characterization of this case as simply contesting the "no marriage licenses" policy is inaccurate because Ermold and Moore did not seek an injunction - they sought only damages".
In the two years since then, things have quieted down in this Appalachian town previously known for a college basketball team at Morehead State University that occasionally qualifies for the NCAA tournament.
The faculty and staff page for the Humanities department at Pikeville University lists Ermold as an assistant professor of English and developmental studies.
But Caudill, like many people in Morehead, doesn't want to talk about Davis and gay marriage. Earlier this year, she reportedly traveled to Romania to lobby the country to outlaw same-sex marriage.
Ermold said Davis' position within the religious right is bringing more politics to the job. She later said she was acting "under God's authority". "Our people want to move on".
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