David Ermold, from Kentucky wrote “It’s official. I’m in!” on his Facebook campaign page after declaring his intention to challenge Kim Davis for her position of Rowan County clerk in the May 2018 election. Ermold who had previously been denied a marriage license several times by Davis after legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, announced the news on Wednesday.
Ermold told Buzzfeed News,
“This is not political revenge. The campaign that I am running in one of unity and bringing people together.”
Ermold and his partner, David Moore, were filmed being turned away by Davis in front of a crowd of reporters back in 2015. The video, which you can watch below, went viral on social media. The couple attempted four times to obtain a license, and were denied each time.
Back in 2015, Ermold, an associate professor of English at the University of Pikeville, told CNN that Davis preventing them from obtaining a marriage license was demonstrative of the larger LGBT struggle.
“This is how gay people are treated in this country. This is what it’s like. This is their experience. This is how it feels.”
Davis was later jailed for several days for refusing to follow the law, but was eventually released. A Kentucky law was then modified in order to remove Davis’s name from marriage licenses.
Moore and Ermold afterwards sued Davis for damages (their case is still pending). The pair was eventually able to obtain a license issued by one of Davis’s deputies and were married.
Ermold says that his campaign isn’t a form of revenge, but his way of sending a message of unity. He did criticized Davis for going to Romania to campaign against marriage equality in October.
“Responsible leadership means being responsible to the people you are leading.”
Ermold says he’s feeling optimistic about his chances, even though Rowan County voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Ermold promises that if elected, he would bring “leadership, fairness, and responsibility to the role.”
He stated that,
“Too many political figures are intent on dividing our people, and pitting one person against the other. This type of leadership has to stop.”