Who Is David Ermold? Gay Man Enters County Clerk Race After Discrimination

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A Kentucky man who was denied a license to marry his male partner by county Clerk Kim Davis in 2015 has announced that he is challenging her for her seat next year.

Davis set off an worldwide furor when she denied a marriage license to Ermold and his partner, David Moore, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the right for same-sex couples to marry.

"We need to restore the integrity of that office", Ermold said in a phone interview with Reuters after his campaign announcement on Facebook.

David Ermold, right, files to run for Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky as Clerk Kim Davis looks on Wednesday.

Davis spent five days in jail in September 2015 after refusing a court order to issue marriage licenses following the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

Davis intends to seek re-election as a Republican in 2018.

Davis's mother was the previous clerk, and Davis's son works in the clerk's office, as well.

David was face-to-face with Davis Wednesday when he filed docs for the position of Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky - the position Davis now holds.

"The county clerk's office has been in the hands of the same family for nearly 35 years", Ermold said. "I don't think the other candidates are looking at a larger message".

However, Ermold and Moore obtained a license on September 26, 2015, Reuters reported. "But everyone should have a fair shot; it should not be something that's handed down from mother to daughter and from daughter to son". He has two master's degrees, one in English and the other in communications, and teaches English at the University of Pikeville. Since 2015, he's helped organize several gay pride events in Morehead.

In the two years since then, things have quieted down in this Appalachian town. Davis, the chief clerk of Rowan County, cited "God's authority" and said her stance was motivated by her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian.

Davis helped him file his candidacy paperwork.

Davis, meanwhile, has become a hero for many on the religious right.

When it was over, she stood and shook hands with Ermold, telling him: "May the best candidate win".

Like much of Eastern Kentucky, Rowan County has turned from a Democratic county to a Republican one; President Donald Trump won with 58.5 percent of the vote in 2016.

"We need someone who is going to stay focused on our community instead of focusing on the interests or agendas of outside organizations and politicians", Ermold said.

Ermold, after being denied the marriage license for the second time said at the time: "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".

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