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Kentucky Country Clerk Who Refused to Sign Marriage Licenses for Same-Sex Couples, Loses Clerkship

  • Amanda Casanova

    Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and…

  • 2018 Nov 08

The Kentucky county clerk who made news for refusing to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples lost her county seat to a Democratic challenger this week.

Kim Davis, a Republican, lost her reelection bid for the Rowan County clerkship to challenger Elwood Caudill Jr. She lost by about 700 votes, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

In 2015, Davis was jailed for five days after she refused to sign marriage licenses for gay couples. She said she acted under “God’s authority” when she refused to sign the marriage licenses. She was released from jail and published a book, “Under God’s Authority: The Kim Davis Story.”

Many conservatives, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, supported her decision to deny the marriage licenses. 

This week, however, Davis lost her county seat for a job that pays about $80,000 annually. She was originally elected in 2014 as a Democrat but later switched to Republican.  

Caudill will now assume the seat. This was his second try at running for the county clerkship. He lost in the primaries to Davis in 2014.

“I believe that as a community we must continue to work together toward a more prosperous and cohesive Rowan County,” Caudill said after his win. “Tonight was awesome.”

Caudill also faced off in the Democratic primaries against David Ermold, one of the men whom Davis had denied a marriage license in 2015. Ermold did not win the Democratic nomination, and he said in a Facebook post earlier this year that Caudill was an “anti-gay bigot.”

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Ty Wright/Stringer