It’s been more than two years since Rowan County, KY, clerk Kim Davis earned international infamy—and a brief jail stint—for refusing to issue a marriage license to two men with a legal right to tie the knot. Now, one of those men, David Ermold, has announced that he will run for Davis’ seat next year and try to oust her from office.
“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 act with integrity and fairness, and they should put the needs of their constituents first,” Ermold, an English teacher and local gay rights activist, told the Lexington Herald Leader:
My commitment to Rowan County is to restore professional leadership, fairness, and responsibility to the clerk’s office. I will build upon the successes of the past, and I will seek solutions for the challenges we may still face.
Ermold, who married his now-husband David Moore several weeks after Davis first denied them their license, denied to NBC News that revenge was his motivation. He said it was Donald Trump who helped inspire him to announce his candidacy.
“I was very disappointed in the presidential election, and I think there needs to be more integrity,” he said. “I think politicians need to answer some questions.”
Davis, who assumed the county clerk’s role after it was occupied by her mother for three decades, has yet to publicly address Ermold’s candidacy. However, when she announced her plans to run for re-election last month, her attorney seemed aware that the 2018 race would capture people’s imaginations.
“I’m sure (the election) will probably have more attention because of who she is,” Liberty Counsel law firm founder Mat Staver told the Associated Press. “But you know she doesn’t have any major concerns about it.”
Speaking with Newsweek, Ermold acknowledged the tough road ahead. With a population of just under 25,000, Rowan County voted for Trump by a 21-point margin. “We have some minds to change and that’s going to be difficult,” Ermold said.