Melvin Nimer, the president of gay GOP group Utah Log Cabin Republicans, is vying for a seat in the Utah Senate, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Republicans recruited Nimer after Nancie Lee Davis was disqualified from the race for failing to file a campaign financial disclosure.

Nimer will face Senator Ben McAdams, a Democrat who is considered gay friendly, in the fall.

McAdams was appointed to the Senate earlier this year after openly gay Senator Scott McCoy retired from politics.

If approved by voters, the 60-year-old Nimer would become the state's first openly gay Republican legislator.

But Nimer said he doesn't believe sexual orientation will become an issue in the campaign.

“More than anything else, what I'm doing is giving the Republicans and independents an alternative to vote for,” he said. “I bring a different viewpoint to this stuff. I am a conservative Republican as far as limited government and individual responsibility.”

The choice, however, has left many scratching their heads. While the district, District 2, leans mostly in favor of gay rights, Utah Republican legislators – in the Statehouse and Congress – remain generally hostile toward gay issues.