Walking embodiment of a floor-length denim skirt Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who infamously (and illegally) denied marriage licenses to gay couples in 2015, is back in the news. This time, the headline is delicious: after Davis denied him a marriage license twice, David Ermold decided to run for Davis's county clerk seat. Isn't karma beautiful?
Ermold, who, along with his now-husband David Moore, was denied a marriage license by Davis not once but twice is now running for her seat as Rowan County Clerk, according to CNN. The election will be held in May 2018.
Though Ermold is currently an assistant professor of English at University of Pikeville, he is running for Davis's seat following his personal experiences with her in 2015. In his announcement, Ermold wrote, "I am running to restore the people's confidence in our clerk’s office and because I believe that the leaders of our community should put the needs of their constituents first and should be an example of integrity and fairness."
The shade of focusing on "the needs of their constituents." I mean, honestly.
Further, on his "about" page on his official website, it says, "[Ermold] is a firm believer in public service and providing opportunities for others. He values and supports inclusiveness and a strong sense of community."
Ermold is one of five people, including Davis, running for the county clerk position Davis currently holds.
Davis first made headlines in 2015, just after the landmark Supreme Court case, Obergefell v. Hodges, which made gay marriage legal across the United States. Davis, however, refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in Rowan County, Kentucky, citing her religious beliefs.
She was found in contempt of court in Sept. 2015 and jailed, according to the New York Times. And when she was offered a plea — to allow her deputies to process same sex licenses while herself not having to process them — she rejected the deal, saying, basically, that she would not give an inch for her religious beliefs.
She became something of a darling of the conservative Christian movement — and a symbol, for conservatives, of judicial overreach — for refusing to do her job for her gay constituents. Per the Times, then-presidential candidate Ted Cruz said of her arrest, "Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny."
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was present for her release from jail, where a crowd gathered and cheered for her while she walked out to "Eye of the Tiger." (I wish I were making this up.) Huckabee told the crowd, "If somebody needs to go to jail, I'm willing to go in her place."
She also parlayed her religious stance into a larger, uh, career: she has, of late, campaigned against gay marriage as far away as Romania.
In short, she's no peach, and she caused a lot of emotional damage. So Ermold's announcement has been met with cheers.
And if you, too, would like to cheer, I present for your viewing pleasure a photo of human bump-it Davis watching Ermold sign up to run against her.
And another angle, just for fun.
For what it's worth, Ermold is not the only person who has decided recently to get involved when an elected official's personal policies start to interfere with constituents' ability to live.
For example, there's New Jersey's Ashley Bennett. After Republican John Carman, a member of the Atlantic County Board of Freeholders, made a comment on Facebook wondering if January's Women's March would be "over in time” for its participants to “cook dinner," Bennett decided to run for his seat. And she won, according to Mother Jones, unseating Carman in the November election.
Then, of course, there's the more high profile case of Danica Roem, a transgender woman who unseated Robert Marshall, the self-proclaimed "chief homophobe" of Virginia's House of Delegates, per The Washington Post. Marshall wrote a "bathroom bill" banning trans kids from using bathrooms conforming to their gender identity, though it died in committee. During his campaign, he refused to call Roem by her correct pronouns or even debate her. So her victory was met with celebration across the United States. Demi Lovato even took her to the American Music Awards on Nov. 19.
Ermold joins Bennett, Roem, and many others who have decided that they've had enough with their elected officials. 2017, thus far, has been something of a dumpster fire, but maybe with people like Ermold deciding to get involved, 2018 won't be so bad.