A leader of last year's campaign to ban gay marriage in California says he's running for Assemblyman, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Andrew Pugno announced his bid to replace Republican Assemblymember Roger Niello last week. Niello is term-limited from seeking reelection.

Pugno, a lawyer from Folsom, is the architect of Proposition 8, and helped qualify it for the ballot. He also acted as general council of ProtectMarriage.com, the lead group of the Yes On 8 campaign.

The thirty-six-year-old father of two boys is seeking to represent California's 5th Assembly District. The largely white Sacramento-to-Folsom district has remained in Republican hands since 1978; Niello won in 2006 with a comfortable 2 to 1 margin.

Pugno's role in opposing gay marriage has made him a public figure in California politics.

“I am often asked about my experience working at the forefront of a legal battle that sparked an inferno of controversy across the nation,” Pugno, a Republican, said in a post at Flash Report.

“Unfortunately, I cannot say that my work for the ProtectMarriage.com/Yes On 8 campaign hasn't affected my personal and professional life. It has. I have lost many friends in the long hard struggle, but I have also made many more. Despite the overwhelming obstacles, political winds and fierce intimidation by extremist, I have continued to fight to protect my principles and fundamental beliefs.”