Openly gay Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet will face California Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack in the fall.

Pougnet ran unopposed in Tuesday's Democratic primary, but faces a steep challenge in taking on incumbent Bono Mack.

Bono Mack, who assumed office in 1998, remains a perennial favorite of voters.

Gay and lesbian issues are expected to become an issue in the ideologically split district. Gay mecca Palm Springs sits near the center of the district, but fanning out from there the district becomes increasingly conservative. Gay tourism remains a major economic driver in Palm Springs, which has a large and vibrant gay community.

In campaigning against Bono Mack, Pougnet has already labeled her anti-gay for her recent vote against repeal of the law that bans gay troops from serving openly.

“In a perfect world, people like Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack would treat all Americans the same,” Pougnet said in a release. “They wouldn't vote against gays and lesbians just to gain favor with extremists on the right.”

“I know we don't live in that perfect world yet, but I was still shocked to learn that Bono Mack voted against the amendment to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'”

If elected, Pougnet would become the first openly gay member of the House who is married. The forty-seven-year-old Pougnet is raising a family with husband Christopher Green, a pharmaceutical sales representative. The couple has two children, Beckman and Julia.

Pougnet has the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that promotes openly gay elected officials.