Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who gained national attention three years ago after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, lost her reelection bid Tuesday, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. The Republican’s challenger for the Rowan County clerkship, Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr., won by about 700 votes, the newspaper reported.
In 2015, Davis spent five days in jail after defying a judge’s orders to begin issuing licenses, in what The Washington Post described as “the most audacious display of defiance on the issue of same-sex marriage since the Supreme Court declared in June that gay couples had a constitutional right to wed.”
Davis was celebrated by some on the right — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said in a statement he stood “with Kim Davis. Unequivocally” — and was condemned by critics for “bigoted neglect of her official duties.”
She was released from jail after her staff began issuing licenses, without Davis’s name. Kentucky’s state legislature later removed the names of county clerks from state marriage licenses, the Associated Press reported.
During a recent candidate forum, Davis, who was first elected as a Democrat in 2014, said she did not “treat anybody unfairly” because she “quit issuing marriage license altogether,” according to the AP.
Caudill has said he would treat everyone equally, the AP reported.
“I didn’t vote (gay marriage) in. But I have to go by the law. You have to issue what the law tells you do,” he said.