Seven openly gay candidates are running for a seat in the California Assembly.

Two of those candidates – Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco and Assembly Speaker John Perez of Los Angeles – are incumbents and expected to remain in office.

Two candidates appear to be shoo-ins.

Former San Diego councilwoman and small businesswoman Toni Atkins faces no competition in Tuesday's Democratic primary, and is expected to face Republican Ralph Denney in the fall for Assembly District 76.

Rich Gordon, a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, is strongly favored to win the endorsement of Democrats who will decide between three candidates. Gordon has won over all eight newspapers that have endorsed a candidate in the race.

“I would say I am cautiously optimistic,” Gordon told San Francisco gay weekly the Bay Area Reporter.

Both candidates also enjoy the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that supports LGBT elected officials, and California's leading gay rights advocate, Equality California.

While Ammiano, Perez, Atkins and Gordon appear to be taking something of a cake walk to the Assembly, the other three candidates will have a steeper incline to overcome.

Two of those candidates – Michael Wilson and Ricardo Lara – have the endorsement of Equality California, but Mitch Ward does not. The Victory Fund, however, has endorsed all three candidates.

Michael Wilson, a Vallejo City Councilman, is facing a strong Democratic primary competitor in Santa Rosa Planning Commissioner Michael Allen. Voters will decide Tuesday which Democrat advances to the fall's general election to face Doris Gentry, their most likely competitor, in the race for Assembly District 7.

In the Los Angeles-area Assembly District 50 race, Ricardo Lara is facing three challengers to win the Democratic nomination. Lara, the son of Mexican immigrants, says he'll work hard to make college education for immigrant students more affordable. His closest Democratic rival is Downey City Councilman Luis Marquez. An additional two Republicans are fighting to win the GOP primary.

Mitch Ward, the African-American mayor of Manhattan Beach, is considered a long shot to win the Democratic primary for California's 53rd District.

Ward is among the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who married in California during the brief May-to-November 2008 window when gay marriage was legal in the state.

“I will fight to ensure that all members of our community are provided with the same rights as me and my partner,” Ward said. “I continue to support a reversal of Prop 8 [the gay marriage ban] either legislatively or at the ballot box, sooner rather than later.”

If elected, Ward would become the first openly gay African-American elected to the California state Legislature.

Should all seven candidates win, they would collectively make up nearly ten percent of the Assembly.