Republican Mike Gin on Tuesday night lost his bid to represent the people of California's 36th congressional district and become the first married gay congressman.

Gin placed fourth behind Los Angeles City Council member Janice Hahn, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and anti-war activist Marcy Winograd.

The special election was the first race to use California's new non-partisan primary system.

Since no candidate won 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election between top vote-getters Hahn and Bowen will take place on July 12.

The 48-year-old mayor of Redondo Beach, California would have become Congress' first openly gay and married member.

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.”

R. Clarke Cooper, the executive director of gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans, urged the gay community to back similar candidates.

“Having gay Republicans such as Mike Gin run for office furthers advocacy for freedom while bolstering conservative principles of individual liberty and individual responsibility,” Cooper told gay weekly The Washington Blade. “The LGBT community would be served well to recognize and support such openly gay conservative candidates.”

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.