A Mark Takano Congressional win would help maintain gay representation in Congress as two members move on, gay weekly The Washington Blade reported.

The openly gay Japanese-American Takano is the only Democrat running in a newly-created Democratic-leaning district in California.

If elected next fall, he would become the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress.

“The significance of that achievement is the unique voice that an openly gay member of Congress of color can bring to the House floor and the House committee rooms,” Takano told the paper. “It's a double-awareness of what it means to be vulnerable.”

Takano, 51, said he would support passage of the Employment Non-Discriminatory Act (ENDA), which would bar workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), which would allow gay Americans to sponsor an immigrant partner for citizenship. He also would support repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law that bars federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

Takano's bid comes as two openly gay House members – Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank and Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin – have announced they'll be moving on. Frank announced in November his retirement. Baldwin is running for the U.S. Senate.

Takano's Republican rival is Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione.