County Clerk Kim Davis may have refused to issue David Ermold a marriage license, but she was powerless to stop him from running against her.
Davis made headlines in 2015 when she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples following a Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriages.
"My commitment to Rowan County is to restore professional leadership, fairness and responsibility to the clerk's office", Emrold said.
Ermold filed his paperwork to run at the county clerk's office where Davis now works.
"I think we need to deal with the circumstances and the consequences of what happened", Ermold 43, an English professor at the University of Pikeville and the leader of the local gay rights organization Morehead Pride, told the Associated Press.
"I was very disappointed in the presidential election, and I think there needs to be more integrity", he said. "I have an obligation here, really, to do this and to set things right".
Davis, who said providing the license violated her religious beliefs, continued to withhold the license, even after a federal judge ordered her to issue it, and was jailed briefly. Asked if she thought she deserved to be re-elected, Davis said: "That will be up to the people".
Davis's attorney, Mat Staver, attacked Ermold as a novice who would have "no idea how to run a clerk's office".
According to the Lexington Herald Leader, Ermold will join a crowded field. She has been County Clerk since 2014, although she worked for her mother, who was also clerk, before being elected to the position.
"The county clerk's office has been in the hands of the same family for nearly 35 years", Ermold said. "I think I do a good job". But everyone should have a fair shot, it should not be something that's handed down from mother to daughter and from daughter to son.
The man is now married to his partner, David Moore, and announced his candidacy Wednesday.
Ermold has been a resident of Morehead, Rowan County, Kentucky, for the last 14 years.
Like much of Eastern Kentucky, Rowan County has turned from a Democratic county to a Republican one; President Donald Trump won with 58.5 percent of the vote in 2016. While Republican Donald Trump overwhelmingly won the county during the 2016 presidential election, almost all of the local elected officials are Democrats and always have been.
But Caudill, like many people in Morehead, doesn't want to talk about Davis and gay marriage.
Davis' new political party could be a problem in Rowan County.
Ermold, after being denied the marriage license for the second time said at the time: "This is how gay people are treated in this country, this is what it's like, this is their experience, this is how it feels".