Openly gay former news anchor Charles Pugh will lead Detroit City Council, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Pugh was the top vote-getter in Tuesday's city council election and as such will be council president.

“This is unbelievable,” Pugh told the paper. “It means Detroit has really wanted change for a very long time.”

The thirty-seven-year-old, self-proclaimed “Detroitaholic” traded in an anchor post at Fox 2, where he first announced his sexuality on air in 2004, to pursue politics.

After coming out, Pugh's celebrity has only increased. During the campaign he acknowledged that being gay added a wrinkle to his candidacy but added that he believed most Detroiters would 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,” Pugh said last month. “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.

Pugh is the first openly gay person to hold elected office in Detroit, a city hit hard by the decline of the automobile industry. A win for the Michigan native looked certain after he captured the most votes during an August primary. But last-minute negative publicity about his foreclosure woes threatened to derail his candidacy. Detroit Free Press editors withdrew their endorsement after the paper reported that Pugh was facing the loss of his home.

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.