WASHINGTON — Rep. Mike Michaud, a Maine Democrat, told residents of the state he is hoping to govern that he is gay on Monday in op-eds running in newspapers across the state.
Running for governor in 2014, Michaud told residents he "wasn't surprised to learn about the whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls some of the people opposed to [his] candidacy have been using to raise questions about [his] personal life."
Then, he got specific, writing, "They want people to question whether I am gay."
And, he responded, "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 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."
Michaud is the first out LGBT member of Congress from Maine and would be the first out LGBT person elected governor in the country should he be successful in his upcoming race.
He joins six House colleagues — Reps. Jared Polis, David Cicilline, Sean Patrick Maloney, Mark Pocan, Kyrsten Sinema, and Mark Takano — and Sen. Tammy Baldwin as the out LGBT members of Congress.
Since Michaud has been serving in Congress since 2003, he is the out LGBT member of the House with the most seniority. Rep. Jared Polis, first elected to the House in 2008, was previously the most senior out LGBT member of the House in the 113th Congress.