Clerk Kim Davis switching parties to become a Republican

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, file photo, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee at her side, greets the crowd after being released from the Carter County Detention Center, in Grayson, Ky. Politicians who may have thought they wouldn’t have to say much at all about gay marriage once the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized it are being called on to say whether they support Davis. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, file photo, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, with Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee at her side, greets the crowd after being released from the Carter County Detention Center, in Grayson, Ky. Politicians who may have thought they wouldn’t have to say much at all about gay marriage once the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized it are being called on to say whether they support Davis. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, a longtime Democrat, says she is switching to the Republican Party because she feels abandoned by Democrats in her fight against same-sex marriage.

Davis’ made the announcement while in Washington, D.C., to attend the Family Research Council’s Value Voters Summit, said Charla Bansley, a spokeswoman for Liberty Counsel, which represents Davis in her legal battles.

“I’ve always been a Democrat, but the party left me,” Davis said, according to Bansley.

Davis sparked a national firestorm by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage in June. Davis was ordered by a federal judge to issue the licenses but refused, and spent five days in jail for continuing to defy the order, propelling her to folk hero status among some on the religious right.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist preacher running for president but trailing badly in the polls, rushed to Davis’ side, visited her in jail and held a rally saying it was unfair the government would not accommodate her beliefs. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also traveled to Kentucky to bask in her defiance.

A judge ultimately freed Davis on the condition she not interfere with her deputies issuing the licenses.

She was elected Rowan County clerk last fall as a Democrat. She replaced her mother, also a Democrat, who served as county clerk for 37 years.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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