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Davis lost to Democratic challenger Elwood Caudill Jr. by about 700 votes. Davis sparked controversy after engaging in a legal battle when she refused to provide a marriage license to a gay couple in 2015 despite Kentucky having legalized gay marriage. Stirring considerable backlash, Davis cited her refusal as being a result of personal religious obligations.
Davis was jailed for five days for her decision. Since her incarceration and media attention, she had continued to work as clerk and published a book about her experience, Under God’s Authority: The Kim Davis Story.
“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 2018 midterms marked Caudill’s second time running for the office. He previously lost to Davis in 2014 by just 23 votes in the primary.
In a cover story for the 2015 December issue of Vogue, Jennifer Lawrence — a Kentucky native — told the reporter who mentioned Davis’ name, “Don’t even say her name in this house.” The actress referred to Davis as the “lady who makes me embarrassed to be from Kentucky.”
Added Lawrence: “All those people holding their crucifixes, which may as well be pitchforks, thinking they’re fighting the good fight. I grew up in Kentucky. I know how they are.”
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