GOProud leaders will assist in the campaigns of two openly gay Republicans competing for DC Council ward seats in this year's election.

GOP leaders announced Thursday that the party will field 4 candidates in the Democratic stronghold of the District of Columbia. No Republicans currently sit on the 13-member council.

The inclusion of two candidates who happen to be both gay and Republican is certain to rattle prevailing assumptions of openly gay candidates. And leaders of gay Republican group GOProud say they'll help in getting their candidates elected.

Marc Morgan, 37, a gay black Republican, plans to run for the Ward 1 seat currently held by Council Member Jim Graham, who is also gay. Morgan and Graham will face each other if Graham wins the Democratic primary.

“I think they would see I am not like any Republican out there,” Morgan told the Washington Post. “I am extremely moderate. I am a pro-environment Republican.”

Timothy Day, who is an Advisory Neighborhood Commission member, hopes to best incumbent Harry Thomas, a Democrat, in a fight for his Ward 5 seat, should Thomas win his primary. Day is also African-American and gay.

Gay Republican group GOProud won't campaign for the candidates but its leaders plan to lend a hand.

Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud, told On Top Magazine that his group only supports federal candidates and issues, but added that several GOProud leaders who reside in the District, including himself, are planning to volunteer for the campaigns of the candidates.

LaSalvia said the District is “desperate” for Republican leadership.

“Years of failed liberal policies have left the residents of the District frustrated, mad and ready for change,” he said. “DC is ready – even desperate – for Republicans gay or straight.”

The inclusion of gay candidates on the Republican slate for DC Council did not surprise LaSalvia who said the candidates are “reflective of the city.”

“Most people know that there is a large gay community in our nation's capital,” he said, “so it's not surprising that the leadership and candidate of both political parties include gay and lesbian leaders.”

But whether DC voters accustomed to thinking of the Democratic Party as the party of inclusion will take a serious look at the gay Republicans remains to be seen.