MOREHEAD, Ky. – David Ermold returned to the Rowan County courthouse Wednesday, almost two years after clerk Kim Davis refused to provide him a wedding license as a result of he was homosexual.
Solely this time, he didn’t desire a license. He needs Davis’ job.
Ermould filed to run for county clerk on Wednesday, hoping to problem the girl who two years in the past instructed him “God’s authority” prohibited her from complying with a U.S. Supreme Courtroom determination that successfully legalized homosexual marriage nationwide. Ermold and others sued her, and Davis would spend 5 days in jail for disobeying a federal choose’s order. She emerged to a rapturous rally on the jailhouse garden, arm-in-arm with a Republican presidential candidate as a newly topped martyr for some conservatives.
WATCH ABOVE: Kim Davis greeted by a crowd of supporters following launch from jail
Within the two years since then, issues have quieted down on this Appalachian city beforehand identified for a school basketball group at Morehead State College that sometimes qualifies for the NCAA event. Final month, Davis introduced she would run for re-election and face voters for the primary time since refusing to problem marriage licenses. Three different folks have additionally filed to run towards her, together with Elwood Caudill Jr., who misplaced to Davis by simply 23 votes within the 2014 Democratic main.
However Caudill, like many individuals in Morehead, doesn’t wish to speak about Davis and homosexual marriage. Ermold does.
“I believe we have to take care of the circumstances and the implications of what occurred,” Ermold mentioned. “I don’t suppose the opposite candidates are a bigger message. I’ve an obligation right here, actually, to do that and to set issues proper.”
Wednesday, Ermold and his husband sat throughout a desk from Davis as they filed his paperwork to run for workplace. Davis smiled and welcomed them, chatting with them concerning the state retirement system and the upcoming Christmas vacation. She made certain Ermold had all of his paperwork and signatures to file for workplace, softly buzzing the outdated hymn “Jesus Paid It All” as her fingers clacked throughout a keyboard.
When it was over, she stood and shook palms with Ermold, telling him:
“Could the very best candidate win.”
“It’ll be a great one, I’m certain,” Davis instructed reporters concerning the election. Requested if she thought she deserved to be re-elected, Davis mentioned: “That shall be as much as the folks. I believe I do a great job.”
WATCH: Couple who sued Kentucky clerk Kim Davis marry
Davis doesn’t object to issuing marriage licenses now that the state Legislature has modified the legislation so her title just isn’t on the license. She has been within the clerk’s workplace for almost three many years, most of that point working for her mom till she retired. Davis was elected in 2014 as a Democrat. However after same-sex marriage grew to become authorized, the state’s then-Democratic governor refused to problem an government order to take away the names of clerks from marriage licenses. Davis mentioned she felt betrayed by her celebration and switched her registration to Republican.
Davis’ new political celebration could possibly be an issue in Rowan County. Whereas Republican Donald Trump overwhelmingly received the county in the course of the 2016 presidential election, almost the entire native elected officers are Democrats and at all times have been.
Tim Keeton, a 56-year-old retired nurse, mentioned he has not determined who he would vote for within the election subsequent 12 months. He mentioned Davis does a great job as clerk, however mentioned he was troubled by her determination to not problem the wedding licenses.
“I believe it simply blew up and put us in a nasty gentle in a variety of methods,” he mentioned.
Ermold’s candidacy has already attracted some nationwide consideration. Patton Oswalt, the comic and actor, despatched Ermold a tweet on Wednesday asking: “Something I can do to assist?”
WATCH: Lawyer for Kim Davis compares her to Martin Luther King Jr.
Ermould grew up within the suburbs of Philadelphia and got here to Kentucky 19 years in the past to be together with his boyfriend, now husband, David Moore. He has two grasp’s levels, one in English and the opposite in communications, and teaches English on the College of Pikeville. He says he’s greater than certified to run the workplace, which retains observe of the county’s information together with actual property transactions and automobile registrations.
And he mentioned his marketing campaign received’t focus solely on the LGBT rights. He mentioned he’s bored with the “divide and conquer” model of politics that has come to dominate most elections, the place candidates purposefully take stances to energise some voters whereas angering everybody else.
“Folks … are again house bickering and preventing with one another and preventing on social media,” he mentioned. “This marketing campaign we’re placing collectively is about unity and bringing folks collectively and restoring equity.”