Kim Davis, clerk who refused to sign marriage licenses for gay couples, loses to Democrat

By Will Wright

Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk made famous by her refusal to sign marriage licenses for gay couples, lost Tuesday in her reelection bid for the Rowan County clerkship.

Davis, a Republican, lost to Democratic challenger Elwood Caudill Jr. by about 700 votes.

Her loss marks at least a temporary end to the saga that has surrounded the clerk’s office since 2015, when Davis was jailed for five days after refusing to sign marriage licenses for gay couples.

“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.”

The controversy launched this mostly-rural Kentucky county into the national spotlight. It gave Davis a hero’s reputation to some on the right, including Gov. Matt Bevin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who lauded her decision as a self-sacrificing expression of religious liberty.

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