Openly gay former news anchor Charles Pugh will be Detroit's first gay candidate.

The thirty-seven-year-old, self-proclaimed “Detroitaholic” is running for a seat on Detroit City Council after stepping down from an anchor post at Fox 2.

Pugh first announced his sexuality on air in 2004.

“I didn't know what would happen, but at that point it didn't matter to me because I knew it was the right thing to do,” Pugh told the AP.

After coming out, Pugh's celebrity has only increased. While he acknowledges that being gay adds a wrinkle to his candidacy, Pugh says he believes most Detroiters will give him a fair shake.

“I think there will be people who grumble about it and some people who may stay away from voting for me because of that, but I think Detroiters already know me. I believe Detroiters are open-minded, hardworking people who really do accept people who are different.”

“I'm focused on bringing a level of class and dignity and respect for the job that Detroiters want,” Pugh added.

The announcement comes on the heels of a new study that shows growing support for gay and lesbian rights among Michigan voters.

The poll, conducted by the Chicago-based Glengariff Group and released last week, shows stunning gains for gay unions: A large majority (75%) support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, while 47% back gay marriage. In 2004, only 24% of Michigan voters agreed with granting gay couples marriage rights.

Pugh was raised by his grandmother after his mother's murder in 1974 at the age of 3 and his father's suicide four years later.

Despite such devastating tragedy, Pugh went on to graduate from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism on an academic scholarship.

“I'm a Detroitaholic!!!,” Pugh says on his MySpace page. “I can't help it. I was born and raised here and I'm not MOVING.”