In response to what he describes as “whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls,” surrounding his sexuality, on Monday six-term Maine congressman Mike Michaud, a Democrat running for governor in 2014, revealed that he’s gay. In an op-ed published in three news outlets, Michaud says his opponents want voters to wonder if he’s gay, and borrows a line from Cory Booker. “Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: ‘Yes I am. But why should it matter?’ “
Michaud is running against incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler. According to the Portland Press Herald, Michaud has a slight lead in recent polls, but the race is a toss-up. Michaud and Maryland’s Heather Mizur are now the nation’s first two openly gay gubernatorial candidates.
“For me, it’s just a part of who I am, as much as being a third-generation mill worker or a lifelong Mainer,” Michaud says of his sexuality. “One thing I do know is that it has nothing to do with my ability to lead the state of Maine.” He added that he intends to focus on “how we get our state back on track,” and doesn’t plan to “make my personal life or my opponents’ personal lives an issue in this campaign.” It’s a good thing his biggest opponent is a level-headed guy who respects his colleagues in government and would never use crude Vaseline-related insults.