“Maine gubernatorial candidate: I’m gay, ‘but why should it matter?’

MSNBC

By Jessica Taylor

Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, center, speaks with VFW members before the start of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and House Veterans' Affairs Committee joint hearing on March 7, 2012. BILL CLARK/CQ ROLL CALL/GETTY
Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, center, speaks with VFW members before the start of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee joint hearing on March 7, 2012. BILL CLARK/CQ ROLL CALL/GETTY

Maine Democratic Rep. Michael Michaud announced in an op-ed on Monday that he is gay – but that it shouldn’t matter as he runs for governor next year.

“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,” Michaud writes in a column that appeared in the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald. “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?’”

The six-term Democratic congressman is the favorite to win his party’s nomination in the Pine Tree State, but he faces other hurdles in unseating Republican Gov. Paul LePage. The GOP incumbent only narrowly won a three-way contest in 2010, with independent Eliot Cutler taking 36% to LePage’s 38%. Now, Cutler is running again, hoping to appeal to the state’s sizeable unaffiliated bloc that helped Sen. Angus King win last year as an independent.

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