Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) came out as gay in a column released to three of Maine's major news outlets on Monday morning.
"For me, it’s just a part of who I am, as much as being a third-generation mill worker or a lifelong Mainer," Michaud wrote. "One thing I do know is that it has nothing to do with my ability to lead the state of Maine."
The Democratic representative said he became aware of "whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls" about his personal life following his campaign announcement, and wanted to address the speculation "with a simple, honest answer."
"I don’t plan to make my personal life or my opponents’ personal lives an issue in this campaign," Michaud wrote. "We’ve had enough negativity in our politics and too many personal attacks over the last few years. We owe it to the people of Maine to focus on how we get our state back on track."
Read the full op-ed here.