Gay marriage foe Andy Pugno lost his bid on Tuesday for a seat in the California Assembly.

Pugno was defeated by his Democratic rival, Richard Pan, in a district which has been represented by a Republican for the last decade.

Pugno attempted to parlay his involvement in Proposition 8, California's 2008 voter-approved gay marriage ban, into a political career. The 37-year-old lawyer represented the sponsors of the measure, which is currently on appeal after a federal judge declared the law unconstitutional, and served as the group's spokesman during the trial.

While he gained a high profile from his involvement in Proposition 8, Pugno mostly kept mum about the issue on the campaign trail.

“I'm not trying to distance myself at all,” he answered last month when asked about the issue's absence from his campaign website. “Prop 8 is an issue that has already been decided, and now ultimately rests with the courts. And so, it is not one of the top issues the Assembly is facing. And is not the purpose of my campaign.”

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the country's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, aided Pugno's bid with nearly $120,000 worth of television ads.

California's largest gay rights advocate, Equality California, cheered Pan's win.

“We are especially proud that staunch ally Richard Pan won his race for Assembly, beating Prop. 8 author Andy Pugno, who would have certainly rolled back our progress if we had allowed him to be elected,” the group said in an email on Wednesday.