David Ermold (pictured above), a gay man who was denied a same-sex marriage license by infamous Rowan County clerk Kim Davis back in 2015, lost his primary last night, which means we won’t get to see an epic Kim Davis David Ermold showdown for that same position in the November election as we’d hoped — how sad.
Ermold sought the Democratic nomination in a four-way race in Kentucky but lost to Elwood Caudill. Caudill, who downplayed Davis’ denial of same-sex marriage licenses as a resolved matter, will now face Davis in the November election. Davis ran unopposed as the only Republican candidate.
How the Kim Davis David Ermold rivarly first began
You may recall that on July 7, 2015, nearly 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. Lo and behold Davis, the thrice-divorced Christian clerk behind the counter, refused to give them a license. She later said she was acting “under God’s authority.”
Ermold recorded video of the encounter as well as a follow-up video, and his videos quickly went viral. Davis later became a darling of the Christian right after she refused to follow a court order to issue licenses and went to jail on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.
Below is a note Ermold placed on his home door last night as election results poured in:
Notice, Part two. David Ermold’s campaign headquarters door. (I have a box of Thin Mints in my office) pic.twitter.com/ER0D3ABdsK
— John Flavell (@jxflavell) May 22, 2018
Upon Davis’s release from jail five days after her 2015 imprisonment, she became the darling of the Christian right, appearing at a press conference with anti-LGBTQ Republican politicians Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz.
The legal fees around her refusal to issue licenses have cost Kentucky taxpayers $222,695. She has since gone traveling around Romania to spread her opposition to marriage equality on foreign shores and has also published a memoir detailing her fight against “fist-pumping homosexuals.”
Why Elwood Caudill considers the Davis marriage issue “a resolved matter”
Davis claimed that signing a same-sex marriage license would violate her religious beliefs. So her case was resolved when her deputy clerk started issuing licenses instead. Later on, the state of Kentucky created an alternate license that no longer required a county clerk’s signature, meaning that Davis could now issue them without personally giving her approval to same-sex unions.
Despite the fact that Caudill considers the issue resolved, it’s likely that Davis will use her story to shore up support from the county’s religious Republican voters. It’s also entirely possible that she might try and exercise her religious beliefs in some other way if re-elected.
Furthermore, during his campaign, Ermold said, “The county clerk’s office has been in the hands of the same family for almost 35 years.” If true, then Davis’s re-election would consolidate her power under her family for close to four decades.
Caudill — now the state’s best chance at ditching Kim Davis once and for all — has led a campaign mentioning that his family has lived in the county for four generations. He also says he’d like to streamline the clerk’s ever-increasing workload with technological solutions.