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Kim Davis Is Running for Reelection in 2018. Her Challenger May Be a Gay Man Who Sued Her

Embattled Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis will seek a second term in the 2018 electoral race, her lawyer confirms.

“She loves her job and she loves the people,” says Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who represented Davis in court after she was sued for denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He believes the election will likely attract “more attention because of who she is” but Davis “doesn’t have any major concerns about it.”

Davis was jailed for five days in 2015 after defying the Supreme Court’s decision on Obergefell v. Hodges. The Apostolic Christian, who has been married four times, claims that recognizing marriage equality would violate her “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Although Davis initially ran for the Rowan County Clerk’s Office as a Democrat, she switched parties following her brief stay in jail. The 52-year-old was quickly embraced by the far-right of the Republican Party. After her release, Davis appeared at a rally with Mike Huckabee, who claimed she was a warrior against “judicial tyranny.”

“God showed up,” the former presidential candidate said at the time. “He showed up in the form of an elected Democrat named Kim Davis.”

The born-again conservative has used her platform to lobby against same-sex marriage in Romania, where she recently embarked on a nine-day speaking tour. Davis was invited as the guest of Liberty Counsel, which has been pushing a national referendum to block LGBTQ couples from marrying. The Florida-based organization has been classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

She also arranged an audience with Pope Francis in October 2015, a meeting from which the Catholic leader would later distance himself.

No candidates have confirmed that they will be running against Davis in the Eastern Kentucky district. But one potential challenger is David Ermold, one of the five couples who sued the county clerk last year. The plaintiffs would be awarded $224,000 in court costs, a tab that was paid by the state government.

Ermold, who serves as director of administration for Morehead Pride, tells the Associated Press that he believes he could beat her. His only concern is funding.

Davis has yet to comment on her 2018 run.


Nico Lang

Nico Lang is a staff writer for INTO, covering news, politics, and global LGBTQ issues.