In an op-ed that ran simultaneously this morning in the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald, Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME), who has announced his candidacy for Governor against the Tea Party incumbent Paul LePage, has made a major announcement:
Once I jumped to an early lead in the polls, I knew it was only a matter of time before individuals and organizations intent on re-creating the uncertainty that led to our current governor’s election three years ago would start their attacks. Already my opponents have tried to blatantly distort my support for a woman’s right to choose and my tireless commitment to our nation’s veterans.
So I wasn’t surprised to learn about the whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls some of the people opposed to my candidacy have been using to raise questions about my personal life. They want people to question whether I am gay.
Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: “Yes, I am. But why should it matter?”
That may seem like a big announcement to some people. For me, it’s just a part of who I am, as much as being a third-generation millworker or a lifelong Mainer. One thing I do know is that it has nothing to do with my ability to lead the state of Maine.
Michaud has represented Maine’s Second Congressional district since 2002. Last August, he announced that he would leave his seat to run for governor. This announcement makes Michaud the eighth openly gay or bisexual member of Congress: seven in the house and one in the Senate. If he is successful in his bid for Maine’s governorship, he will become the first openly gay governor in the U.S.