Republican Mike Gin is vying to represent the people of California's 36th congressional district. If elected in the May 17 non-partisan primary, Gin would become Congress' first openly gay married man. (If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election between the top vote-getters will be held on July 12.)

Gin, who is currently serving his second term as mayor of Redondo Beach, California, lists education and economic issues as priorities at his campaign website, but in an interview with gay weekly The Washington Blade, the 48-year-old talked about his role as an openly gay elected official.

“Certainly, we all need role models, and being gay and being married is just a part of who I am,” Gin said. “If somehow my election would provide some inspiration or maybe help a young person that's very conflicted about being gay, then I think that's a wonderful thing.”

Gin has been with his partner, animator Christopher Kreider, 50, for over 16 years. The couple married on November 1, 2008 – just days before voters approved gay marriage ban Proposition 8, which overturned a Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay nuptials in the state – at the Redondo Beach Historic “Morrell House.”

Gin is trailing in the polls behind two well-funded and visible Democratic candidates: California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Los Angeles City Council member Janice Hahn.

Last November, Congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island became the latest openly gay House member, joining Representatives Barney Frank of Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jared Polis of Colorado.

Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet challenged Republican Representative Mary Bono Mack last fall for her seat, becoming the first openly gay married man to run for Congress.