A Democratic congressman and top contender in Maine’s 2014 gubernatorial race announced in an op-ed piece published Monday that he is gay.
Writing in the Bangor Daily News, Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) said he was motivated to clear the air about his sexual orientation after “whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls” began to surface.
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 is challenging Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), the often incendiary incumbent who announced his intention to seek another term after initially suggesting that he would not run for re-election.
LePage accused a Democratic lawmaker in June of being “the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline,” a remark that earned him praise from some anti-gay activists.
Maine voters passed a measure last year making same-sex marriage legal in the state. A survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling in August showed Michaud with a slight lead over LePage. If elected in 2014, Michaud would become the nation’s first openly gay governor, according to the Daily News.