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US: Democrat Mike Michaud on course to become first out governor

Nick Duffy September 24, 2014

Democratic congressman Mike Michaud could be on course to become the first out governor in the history of the United States.

The politician – who has not received substantial backing from LGBT groups –  is running in Maine against incumbent Republican Governor Paul LePage.

A Public Policy Polling survey poll this month showed that Michaud maintains a narrow lead over LePage, with 43 percent of the vote compared to 42 percent.

Independent candidate Eliot Cutler is currently a distant third with 11 percent, though the majority of his voters would prefer Michaud over LePage in a direct contest.

Mr Michaud came out as gay last year in an op-ed for Associated Press, ahead of the election.

He wrote: “I am not ashamed of who I am.” He also said that he wanted to counter “whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls”, which raised questions about his personal life, but did not reveal who was behind the alleged campaigns.

Mr Michaud led the Portland pride parade this year, and was joined by Nicole Maines, a trans student who won a court battle over her right to use the women’s bathroom, and Sarah Holmes of the University of Southern Maine’s Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity.

The US state of Maine last year voted in favour of marriage rights for gay couples in a public referendum.

Residents in the state voted 54% to 47% in support of marriage equality.

The US currently has no openly gay governor.

The Maine Gubernatorial election will take place on November 4.

More: democrat, Gay, governor, Michael Michaud, mike michaud, out, Republican, United States, US, US

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