Republican Kim Davis, the Kentucky court clerk who became a conservative Christian heroine for refusing to sign same-sex marriage certificates three years ago, lost her re-election bid Tuesday, according to results posted by the state board of elections.
Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr. appeared to defeat Davis by more than 650 votes in the race for clerk in Rowan County, according to the unofficial results, with all precincts reporting.
“She congratulated me, told me we done a great job, and I thanked her, told each other we loved each other,” Caudill told CNN affiliate WKYT, after he said Davis called him to concede.
Davis spent several days in jail in September 2015 after refusing to abide by that summer’s historic US Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.
“It is not a light issue for me. It is a heaven or hell decision,” Davis said in a statement at the time, citing her religion.
A federal court judge declared Davis in contempt of court for refusing to issue the licenses and not allowing her six deputy clerks to issue them in her place. US District Court Judge David Bunning ordered that Davis remain behind bars until she complied.
Five of her deputies then agreed to issue marriage licenses in her absence, and the Rowan County Clerk’s Office also began doing so.
The judge ordered her release days later, saying he was satisfied the office was issuing marriage licenses to “legally eligible couples.”
A few years before the Supreme Court ruling, Davis had converted to Apostolic Christianity, a faith which has a strict moral code, her attorney said at the time.
Davis later had a private meeting with Pope Francis in Washington during his first US visit in 2015.