Kim Davis, KY Clerk Who Refused Same-Sex Marriage Licenses, Loses Election In Rowan County

The KY County Clerk who made national headlines for refusing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Kim Davis, lost her reelection bid Tuesday night.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12: Rowan County clerk Kim Davis arrives before US President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union speech before members of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol January 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong / Getty Images

The KY County Clerk who made national headlines for refusing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Kim Davis, lost her reelection bid Tuesday night.

It’s a small shake-up, hardly a big blue wave, but it is a significant win for LGBT supporters: Kim Davis lost her re-election campaign Tuesday night when she was defeated at the polls by Elwood Caudill, Jr.

Davis made national headlines for her decision not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, which stood in opposition to a then-new federal law recognizing same-sex marriage.

At the time, Davis was jailed for contempt of court, according to LEX18. High-profile Republicans rallied around Davis, and for three years she remained an elected Clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky. That’s in the northeast of the state.

Among others, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) threw their support behind Davis, who went to the White House to meet Pope Francis and was invited to Donald Trump’s first joint address to Congress in 2017, the Hill reports.

GRAYSON, KY - SEPTEMBER 8: Rowan County Clerk of Courts Kim Davis (R) stands with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (L) in front of the Carter County Detention Center on September 8, 2015 in Grayson, Kentucky. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
  Ty Wright / Getty Images

“I want Rowan County and Morehead to get back to where it was and treat everyone equally and treat everyone with respect,” Caudill, Jr. told local reporters following the election win.

This was not the first time Caudill, Jr. and Davis squared off in an election. The two formerly opposed each other in the 2014 Democratic primary election. Caudill, Jr. lost to Davis by 23 votes.

“I did not want to give up,” Caudill, Jr. said.

Kim Davis switched parties after the race and was successfully elected to County Clerk as a Republican.

Davis was not accepting media requests for comment as of 8 p.m. EST on Election Night. Davis lost her seat by about 700 votes.

Davis spent five days in jail for refusing to grant a marriage license to several same-sex couples who applied. She has since written a book, Under God’s Authority: The Kim Davis Story, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

All districts have reported, and Kim Davis will not be returning as County Clerk.

The Rowan County Clerk race is interesting, but in Kentucky, all eyes are on the Andy Barr and Amy McGrath. Newcomer McGrath, a Democrat, has put up a strong fight against Republican incumbent Barr for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District. This is home to Lexington, one of the bigger cities of the state, and this could be part of the “blue blue wave” that liberals are expecting to see on Tuesday night as election results unfold, according to The Courier-Journal.

This race is a key indicator of how the country is responding to Donald Trump’s presidency, analysts say. The election is one indicator of how rural Democrats and Republicans are feeling about Donald Trump, and how they may choose to vote when he runs for reelection in 2020.