Maine Candidate for Gov. Says He’s Gay

  • U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud talks to an Associated Press reporter Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, in Portland, Maine, about his public announcement that he is gay. The Democrat is running for governor in 2014 in a three-way race challenging Republican incumbent Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler. Michaud said his announcement came in response to a "whisper campaign" by political opponents hoping to weaken his campaign. (AP Photo/Clarke Canfield)

    U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud talks to an Associated Press reporter Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, in Portland, Maine, about his public announcement that he is gay. The Democrat is running for governor in 2014 in a three-way race challenging Republican incumbent Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler. Michaud said his announcement came in response to a "whisper campaign" by political opponents hoping to weaken his campaign. (AP Photo/Clarke Canfield)

  • FILE - In this May 21, 2010 file photo, U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, speaks during the Maine Democratic Party Convention in Lewiston, Maine. Michaud, a six-term congressman and former paper mill worker hoping to unseat Maine Gov. Paul LePage next year, announced that he's gay — a response to what he called a "whisper campaign" by political opponents hoping to weaken his gubernatorial bid.  (AP Photo/Joel Page, File)

    FILE - In this May 21, 2010 file photo, U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, speaks during the Maine Democratic Party Convention in Lewiston, Maine. Michaud, a six-term congressman and former paper mill worker hoping to unseat Maine Gov. Paul LePage next year, announced that he's gay — a response to what he called a "whisper campaign" by political opponents hoping to weaken his gubernatorial bid. (AP Photo/Joel Page, File)

  • U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud talks to an Associated Press reporter Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, in Portland, Maine, about his public announcement that he is gay. The Democrat is running for governor in 2014 in a three-way race challenging Republican incumbent Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler. Michaud said his announcement came in response to a "whisper campaign" by political opponents hoping to weaken his campaign. (AP Photo/Clarke Canfield)
  • FILE - In this May 21, 2010 file photo, U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, speaks during the Maine Democratic Party Convention in Lewiston, Maine. Michaud, a six-term congressman and former paper mill worker hoping to unseat Maine Gov. Paul LePage next year, announced that he's gay — a response to what he called a "whisper campaign" by political opponents hoping to weaken his gubernatorial bid.  (AP Photo/Joel Page, File)

Portland, Maine — Rep. Mike Michaud had endured more than a dozen elections without anyone questioning his sexuality. Now everyone knows the Maine congressman is gay — including his mother.

The 58-year-old Michaud said Monday that he told his mom that he was gay just hours before he released an op-ed in which he came out publicly. He said he wrote the piece to end “whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls” that were dogging his gubernatorial campaign.

“It was a difficult decision to tell my sister and my mother,” Michaud said in his Portland campaign office hours after he released an op-ed. His mother, sister and five other siblings said through his campaign staff that they didn’t want to be interviewed.

The announcement lifts the profile of a three-way race in which the six-term congressman and former paper mill worker is running close in the polls with Gov. Paul LePage, the Republican incumbent. Also in the race is wealthy independent Eliot Cutler.

But the ramifications were unclear. Maine approved gay marriage last year.

— AP