Maine gubernatorial candidate comes out as gay
November 4th, 2013
08:40 AM ET
12 months ago

Maine gubernatorial candidate comes out as gay

(CNN) – Democratic gubernatorial hopeful and U.S. Representative Mike Michaud of Maine announced Monday he's gay, writing about his personal life in an opinion piece for newspapers in his state.

If Michaud wins in 2014 and unseats Republican incumbent Gov. Paul LePage, he would become the first openly gay candidate to be elected governor.

The six-term U.S. Congressman's announcement makes him the 8th openly gay member of Congress, with seven in the House and one in the Senate.

Michaud, who announced he was running for governor in August, says he made his decision to come out in response to "whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls" from his political opponents.

"Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: 'Yes I am. But why should it matter?'" he writes.

He's not the only "out" candidate running for governor next year. Others include Democratic state Rep. Heather Mizeur in Maryland and independent Todd Giroux in Rhode Island. Both states allow same-sex marriage.

While Michaud says his opinion piece may "seem like a big announcement to some people," he adds "it's just a part of who I am, as much as being a third-generation mill worker 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," he writes.

Michaud first served in the Maine state legislature, before being elected to the U.S. House in 2002.

"I write this now merely to let my opponents and the outside interests who fund them know that I am not ashamed of who I am," he says in the opinion piece. "And if seeing someone from my background, in my position openly acknowledge the fact that he's gay makes it a little bit easier for future generations to live their lives openly and without fear, all the better."

Some of Michaud's fellow members of Congress welcomed the news on Monday.

"My #gaydar missed it, but happy to welcome @RepMikeMichaud to team," Rep. Jarid Polis, D-Colorado, wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, wrote on Twitter that she was "so proud to serve with" Michaud and linked to his opinion piece.

Same-sex marriage became legal in Maine in December, and the state voted for President Barack Obama over Republican nominee Mitt Romney by a wide margin in November, 56%-41%.

The 2014 governor's contest in Maine will be a big race to watch. Nonpartisan political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg rates the race as a "toss up/tilt Democrat," while Charlie Cook, another leading nonpartisan political observer, rates the race as a "toss up."

In additional to Michaud, two other Democrats have announced their candidacy, while three independents have pledged to run.

LePage, who's become known for his outspoken, sometimes off-color comments, won his election bid in 2010 with 38% of the vote in a crowded gubernatorial race.


Filed under: 2014 • Maine • Paul LePage
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Gov. LePage is microcosm of everything that has gone wrong with the Republican Party since 2008.

    November 4, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  2. Data Driven

    Shouldn't be an issue in Maine. Though a little famous for sometimes electing kooky politicians, I'd imagine Mainers have had enough of LePage embarrassing them.

    November 4, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "LePage, who's become known for his outspoken, sometimes off-color comments, won his election bid in 2010 with 38% of the vote in a crowded gubernatorial race."

    Off-color comments? Yeah, whatever. Thank goodness Mainers understand the difference between off-color comments and blatantly repellent comments. LaPage is on his way out ... good riddance to bad rubbish.

    November 4, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I suspect this man was blackmailed by the GOP to stop him from running. I'm glad he came out. Good luck to him!

    November 4, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  5. Smarter than ewe

    Giving new meaning to "my Maine Man"

    November 4, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Mike Hunt

    Some people are a little too sensitive, and they are also too quick to jump on fresh meat in the press. We shouldn't vote for people based on their sexual preferences. But LePage has been a refreshing change of pace up here, and I hope he stays around long enough until they can offer someone better to take over than these loons.

    November 4, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. Allinstride

    Well, it certainly clinches Southern Maine for him, not that there was ever much doubt about that. Around the rest of the state, it will not change a thing.

    November 4, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. Tim

    I'm just curious. Are there any conservative gays out there? Or, is their denial too great?

    November 4, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    WE
    Are the party of depravity.

    WE
    Have "evolved".

    WE
    Are SMARTER than God Himself.

    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
    Romans 1:18-32

    November 4, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. ED1

    Anything to get votes just like Obama.

    November 4, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  11. Nope

    God exists only in the eyes of those duped into believing.

    November 4, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  12. marcwinger.com

    So, he's come out in the hope that doing so will help him be elected. Sounds a bit mercenary.

    November 4, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I write this now merely to let my opponents and the outside interests who fund them know that I am not ashamed of who I am
    -------------------------------------------------
    Well said Mr. Michaud. Take the winds right out of their sails and good luck to you.
    Insofar as LePaige, is this the same guy that took down that mural that he felt was too pro-worker a few years ago when they all thought Romney, the pro-business guy, was going to occupy the White House?

    November 4, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Al-NY,NY

    good for him. the GOP-Taliban will surely try to portray him as the "enemy of Amurka"

    November 4, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. DrBen

    Tim asked: "I'm just curious. Are there any conservative gays out there? Or, is their denial too great?"

    Reallly, Tim, where have you been the last few years? The Republican Party has a very active group of gay Republicans who call themselves "Log Cabin Republicans". Their leaders are very often interviewed on news and political commentary TV shows and talked about in the print media.

    November 4, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. Sigi

    To paraphrase MLK: "I have a dream that everyone would be judged by the 'content of their character' rather than by their orientation, skin color, etc." We have ways to go on that; good luck, Mike!

    November 4, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. Fair is Fair

    Nope

    God exists only in the eyes of those duped into believing.
    ------
    OR the opposite is true. Choose wisely.

    November 4, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Bill the Cat

    So, anyone using "gay" as a slang term gets fined or ostracized, but some homosexual clown in Congress gets to use the term "gaydar"??? Hypocrit much??

    November 4, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  19. Data Driven

    @DrBen,

    "Tim asked: "I'm just curious. Are there any conservative gays out there? Or, is their denial too great?"

    Reallly, Tim, where have you been the last few years? The Republican Party has a very active group of gay Republicans who call themselves "Log Cabin Republicans". Their leaders are very often interviewed on news and political commentary TV shows and talked about in the print media."

    Yep. And they have absolutely ZERO impact on the GOP platform, no matter how many times they're interviewed, and they're completely ignored by the "tea party" base. I think we can file them under the "Does a falling tree make a sound when no one is there to hear it" category.

    November 4, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. Bill Cassara

    Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    November 4, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. Jim

    Nothing to fear but queer itself. I give credit to this guy at least he was open about his true colors. Would I vote for him-Hell no ! Too many hidden agenda's wearing a political smile, not the values I want my children to be forced to accept. I will teach them right from wrong only those in denial of the truth see gray.

    November 4, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Pinewalker

    ""My #gaydar missed it, but happy to welcome @RepMikeMichaud to team," Rep. Jarid Polis, D-Colorado, wrote on Twitter." Now just imagine the media uproar if that statement came from a Republican??? My gaydar?? really??

    November 4, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Tim

    I'm just curious. Are there any conservative gays out there? Or, is their denial too great?
    ----------------
    The only national group that I am aware of is named "Log Cabin Republicans". Seriously.

    November 4, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  24. Bill Davis

    Sounds like CNN is promoting an agenda today

    November 4, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  25. danita

    Who cares? At least he didn't come out as a liar... Lets move on to some worth while news.

    November 4, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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