A Kentucky man who was repeatedly refused a marriage license by county clerk Kim Davis after the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015 announced Wednesday he is running to unseat her.
You may recall that on July 7, 2015, almost two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality nationwide, Ermold and his fiancé David Moore (a man he had been in a relationship with for around two decades) went to the county clerk's office in Rowan County, Kentucky to get a marriage license and - lo and behold - Davis, the thrice-divorced Christian clerk behind the counter refused to give them a license. "I will build upon the successes of the past, and I will seek solutions for the challenges we may still face".
Emron and Moore married in October 2015. Davis also refused to allow other clerks to issue the licenses, because her name was still on them.
David Ermold, 43, teaches English at the University of Pikeville and directs Morehead Pride, a local gay rights organization in the city.
But Caudill, like many people in Morehead, doesn't want to talk about Davis and gay marriage.
"We need to not just symbolize, we need to send a message out to all these people saying it's okay", Ermold said.
Less than a month after she was released from jail, Davis, who won election to the office in 2014 as a Democrat, switched her affiliation to the Republican Party.
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Davis, who said providing the license violated her religious beliefs, continued to withhold the license, even after a federal judge ordered her to issue it, and was jailed briefly.
"The county clerk's office has been in the hands of the same family for nearly 35 years", Ermold told the Herald-Leader. Earlier this year, she reportedly traveled to Romania to lobby the country to outlaw same-sex marriage. She later said she was acting "under God's authority". He said he is exhausted of the "divide and conquer" style of politics that has come to dominate most elections, where candidates purposefully take stances to energize some voters while angering everyone else.
Jackie Matthews is one of those people. "One of the politicians doesn't think Rowan County is ready".
"You have to serve all the people, not just the ones you agree with", she said.
When it was over, she stood and shook hands with Ermold, telling him: "May the best candidate win". She made sure Ermold had all of his paperwork and signatures to file for office, softly humming the old hymn "Jesus Paid It All" as her fingers clacked across a keyboard.
"Diversity, inclusion - none of these things are exclusively one party issues", he said. Only two counties in Kentucky - those encompassing its two biggest cities, Louisville and Lexington - voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
"She does a good job and should be re-elected", he said. "I just can not sit by and just let her take that seat without a fight".
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