Candidate For Maine Governor Comes Out As Gay

The leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for Maine’s 2014 Gubernatorial election, who also happens to be a sitting Member of Congress, has announced that he’s 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.

Quite honestly, I doubt this is going to hurt him at all in Maine.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    I agree that it won’t hurt him in Maine, but I was under the impression LePage was something of a wingnut… what are the chances he’ll try to force it into being an issue?

  2. grumpy realist says:

    YES!!! The more people who are out as gay and proud of it, the more we’re going to realize that they’re. Just. Like. Us. Heterosexuals.

    (Besides which, if you’re worried more about what sex your governor is sleeping with than how well he does his job, you’ve got far too much time on your hands.)

  3. al-Ameda says:

    As long as he didn’t come out as a relative of Paul LePage, I’m okay with it.

  4. Scott says:

    @legion: Just wait for the first gay wingnut. I’m sure they’re out there.

  5. JKB says:

    That’s some queer doins.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @legion: Part of his reason for “coming out” (everybody who knew him personally already knew it, so it wasn’t a secret) is because certain individuals had started a whisper campaign about this and a couple other things. Via TPM

  7. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Reminds me of the Duke of Wellington’s response: “Publish and be damned.”

  8. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Maine has two districts. Michaud represents the 2nd District, which covers basically all of Maine except for the coastal areas from the NH border up to the Portland area. It is, by far, the more conservative district of the two.

    LaPage is beyond being your garden-variety wingnut. He won in a plurality in a 3-way race, and has been doing his best to piss off everyone, including the Republicans in the State Legislature, during his tenure in office. In the 2010 elections, when LaPage was elected, both chambers of the Maine Legislature switched from D to R. In the 2012 elections, both chambers switched back, in large part as a reaction to the LaPage administration.

    So, Michaud will almost automatically will a plurality, if not an outright majority, of the areas in the 1st District, which is hugely Democratic. If he only takes a plurality, it will be due to the popularity of a Green candidate, most likely. He’s also likely to win over LaPage in the 2nd district, which he’s been representing in Congress for 12 years or so. Even though it is a conservative area, LaPage is toxic at this point (moreso than Rick Scott!) and Michaud has the home court advantage.

    It was smart of Michaud to get ahead of the whisper campaign.

  9. Tony W says:

    I have a dream that one day this will be as relevant as his preference in yogurt flavors.

  10. C. Clavin says:

    Meanwhile Boehner will refuse to hold a vote on the Employee Non-Discrimination Act…because Republicans want to be free to discriminate against anyone who is not exactly like them in every single way.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…

    …as long as they are white, straight, and in the upper 25% of income earners. Old but not elderly, religious but not spiritual, pathological and not afraid to show it. Stupidity isn’t actually required…but it is encouraged. The ability to convince yourself of just about anything is required. Must love guns.
    F*ck everyone else.

  11. rudderpedals says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: LaPage is toxic at this point (moreso than Rick Scott!)

    And Scott supplies a good three to five times the human LD50 dosage. LaPage must be pretty awful.

  12. C. Clavin says:

    I mean…really, really love guns.

  13. CSK says:

    Very smart of him to get a jump on the whisper campaign. But Doug is right: In Maine, as in New England in general, it won’t be much of an issue, if at all. Massachusetts has an openly gay Republican/libertarian state senator, and the people who vote against him don’t vote against him because he’s gay. The issue certainly never hurt Barney Frank.

  14. John Peabody says:

    Of course, the Glenn Reynolds take is that we should have a country that has gays with closets full of guns.

  15. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @Scott: His name is Larry Craig, of widely spread legs fame, and former Senator from Idaho.