A gay man who was twice denied a marriage license by Kim Davis has thrown his hat in the ring to run against her for county clerk.
"My commitment to Rowan County is to restore professional leadership, fairness and responsibility to the clerk's office", Ermold said. "I will build upon the successes of the past, and I will seek solutions for the challenges we may still face".
But in May 2017, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived the lawsuit because "We conclude that the district court's characterization of this case as simply contesting the "no marriage licenses" policy is inaccurate because Ermold and Moore did not seek an injunction - they sought only damages". She has been County Clerk since 2014, although she worked for her mother, who was also clerk, before being elected to the position. Davis said she would refuse to allow any of her employees to issue the licenses, as well, though the standoff was eventually resolved when one of her deputies, Brian Mason, began to do so anyway.
Ermold is 43 years old, teaches English at the University of Pikeville and directs a local gay rights organization called Morehead Pride.
On Wednesday, Ermold filed in Morehead, the county seat, to run for the position - to "restore the confidence of the people" in the office.
Davis was a champion for anti-LGBT rights.
"We need to not just symbolize, we need to send a message out to all these people saying it's okay", Ermold said.
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Davis, who has been married to opposite sex partners four times, has already said she will run for re-election.
Davis's attorney, Mat Staver, attacked Ermold as a novice who would have "no idea how to run a clerk's office".
Davis went against the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. Earlier this year, she reportedly traveled to Romania to lobby the country to outlaw same-sex marriage. Asked if she thought she deserved to be re-elected, Davis said: "That will be up to the people". He said he is exhausted of the "divide and conquer" style of politics that has come to dominate most elections, where candidates purposefully take stances to energize some voters while angering everyone else. She moved to Kentucky two years ago, then specifically moved to Rowan County so she could marry her wife there last year. He wants to tell people who have been discriminated against, as he has, that there is room to succeed.
"You have to serve all the people, not just the ones you agree with", she said.
Davis helped him file his candidacy paperwork.
When it was over, she stood and shook hands with Ermold, telling him: "May the best candidate win".
"Diversity, inclusion - none of these things are exclusively one party issues", he said. In 2016, the Kentucky General Assembly established an alternate license. "I think I do a good job". "I really don't think she cares at all about what civil rights are".