A gay man who was once denied a marriage license by Kim Davis has decided to run against her for the clerk’s seat in Rowan County, Kentucky, according to The Lexington Herald Leader.
The Herald Leader on Wednesday reported that David Ermold will seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Davis for the role next year.
“I am running to restore the confidence of the people in the 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,” he said.
“My commitment to Rowan County is to restore professional leadership, fairness, and responsibility to the clerk’s office,” added Ermold, who teaches English at the University of Pikeville in Pikeville, Kentucky.
“Diversity, inclusion, none of these things are solely one-party issues. These are issues that are important to all of us.”
Davis on Wednesday processed Ermold’s paperwork at the clerk’s office, shaking his hand and stating “may the best candidate win.”
Ermold is one of four Democrats seeking the nomination to challenge Davis, who switched her political party registration from Democrat to Republican in 2015.
Davis sparked global debate in 2015 when she denied a marriage license to Ermold and his partner despite a Supreme Court decision upholding the right for same-sex couples in the U.S.
The clerk argued that providing such a license violated her religious beliefs, and she was briefly jailed after refusing to issue it following an order from a federal judge.
Brian Mason, who is one of Davis’ deputies, ultimately agreed to issue the licenses, and the Kentucky General Assembly established an alternate version last year.
Ermold eventually married David Moore in October 2015 in Morehead, Kentucky, and Mason on Wednesday said that he is still issuing other same-sex marriage licenses.
Davis has been Rowan County’s clerk since 2014, although she worked for her mother, who also served in the position, before getting elected into it herself.