Providence, Rhode Island's openly gay Mayor David N. Cicilline announced Saturday he'll run for Congress.

Cicilline, 48, threw his hat into the ring a day after Rhode Island Representative Patrick J. Kennedy said he would not seek re-election.

In announcing his candidacy, the two-term mayor said that if elected he would focus on the middle class.

“I'm running for Congress because Washington has lost sight of what is really happening to the hard-working middle class in the cities and towns in America,” Cicilline said in a statement. “There's a dangerous disconnect between what Washington thinks will help the American people out of this miserable economic decline and what will really make a difference in their lives right now. I see the cost and the reality of that disconnect every single day.”

Cicilline, a lawyer and a former state representative, was first elected mayor in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. He easily won both contests with an overwhelming majority of the vote.

A second Democrat, Bill Lynch, the chairman of the State Democratic Party, also declared his candidacy for Kennedy's seat on Saturday, saying his top priority in Washington would be “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

In elected, Cicilline would become the fourth openly gay lawmaker in Congress. The current list includes representatives Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Barney Frank of Massachusetts and, most recently, Jared Polis of Colorado.