Mike Michaud

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Mike Michaud
Mike Michaud Official.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded by John Baldacci
Member of the Maine Senate
from the 3rd district
In office
December 7, 1994 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Margaret Ludwig
Succeeded by Stephen Stanley
Member of the Maine House of Representatives
from the 134th district
In office
December 1980 – December 7, 1994
Preceded by Walter Birt
Succeeded by Harry Bailey
Personal details
Born Michael Herman Michaud
(1955-01-18) January 18, 1955 (age 59)
Millinocket, Maine, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Religion Roman Catholicism

Michael Herman "Mike" Michaud (born January 18, 1955) is an American politician from Maine. Michaud has served as the U.S. Representative for Maine's 2nd congressional district since 2003. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The primarily rural district comprises nearly 80% of the state by area and includes the cities of Lewiston, Auburn, Bangor, and Presque Isle. It is the largest Congressional district by area east of the Mississippi River.

Michaud was previously President of the Maine Senate. He was employed for over two decades at the Great Northern Paper Company and remains a member of the United Steelworkers. He is one of the few current members of Congress never to have attended college.

Michaud, who speaks French, is the first Franco-American to be elected to a U.S. federal office from Maine.[1][2][3] He was elected as a co-chair of the congressional French Caucus in January 2011.[3]

Michaud is the Democratic nominee for Governor of Maine in the 2014 election.[4]

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Michaud was born in Millinocket, Maine, the son of Geneva Jean (née Morrow) and James Michaud, Sr. His parents were both of French-Canadian descent.[5] He grew up in Medway, Maine, and is a graduate of Schenck High School in East Millinocket. He was a mill worker and supervisor at Great Northern Paper Company in East Millinocket, from 1973 until his election to Congress in 2002, during which time he was a member of the United Steelworkers. Michaud's interest in politics began when he campaigned to clean up the Penobscot River in the late 1970s.

Maine House of Representatives (1980–1994)[edit]

Elections[edit]

Michaud was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1980 to the 134th district. In 1984, he defeated an independent candidate by a landslide, despite large Republican gains in other districts.[6] He also won re-election in 1986, 1988, 1990, and 1992.

Tenure[edit]

Michaud served seven terms in the Maine Legislature, including two in the Maine House of Representatives and 5 in the Maine Senate. In the House, Michaud represented Medway and East Millinocket.[7] In the Maine Senate, Michaud represented the following towns: Charlotte, Cooper, Crawford, Dennysville, Eastport, Indian Township Indian Reservation, Lubec, Meddybemps, Pembroke, Perry, Pleasant Point, and Union.[8]

As Chair of the Energy Committee, he helped to increase the cost of dumping[9][10] and opposed California Air quality standards.[11]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Energy and Natural Resources Committee (Chair)[12]

Maine Senate (1994–2003)[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 1994, he ran for Maine's 3rd Senate district. Despite the fact that it was a Republican wave year, he defeated incumbent State Senator Margaret Ludwig, a millionaire, 58%-42%.[13] In 1996, he won re-election to a second term with 64% of the vote.[14] In 1998, he won re-election to a third term with 77% of the vote.[15] In 2000, he won re-election to a fourth term with 69% of the vote.[15]

Tenure[edit]

During his years in the state legislature, he continued to work at the Great Northern Paper Company until his election to Congress. To accommodate his legislative schedule, he changed his factory shifts, for instance by working weekends.[16]

From 1994–1996, Michaud was appointed to Governor Angus King's Productivity Realization Task Force. In 1997, he was appointed to the Maine Commission on Children's Health Care. After the 1998 election, the Maine Senate found itself divided into 17 Republicans, 17 Democrats and one Independent. In a compromise organization, each party agreed to assume the Senate Presidency for one year, with the single Independent awarded the chair of the crucial Appropriations Committee. Accordingly in December 2000, Michaud was unanimously elected President of the Maine Senate.

In 2001, Mike was honored with the dedication of the Michael H. Michaud Technology Center for helping to secure state funding for the University of Maine at Presque Isle Houlton Higher Education Center. He also received the College Board's Education Award at the National Council of State Legislatures annual meeting.[17]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Joint Appropriations Committee (Chair)

U.S. House of Representatives (2003–present)[edit]

Elections[edit]

An earlier official Congressional photo of Michaud
2002

Michaud ran for Congress in 2002 for Maine's 2nd congressional district after incumbent Democrat John Baldacci decided to run for Governor of Maine. Michaud faced three other state senators in the Democratic primary. He won the primary with a plurality of 31% of the vote, beating the second place challenger, Susan W. Longley, by 4 percentage points. The general election garnered considerable publicity because Michaud was pro-life, while the Republican was pro-choice. Republican Kevin Raye, of Perry, was the Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe. Michaud defeated Raye, 52%–48%.[18]

2004

Michaud won re-election to a second term, defeating Republican businessman Brian Hamel, 58%–39%.[19]

2006

Michaud won re-election to a third term, defeating Republican Lisbon Town Selectman Laurence Scott D'Amboise, 71%–29%.[20]

2008

Michaud won re-election to a fourth term, defeating Republican professor John Frary 67%-33%.[21]

2010

Michaud won re-election to a fifth term, defeating Republican U.S. Army veteran Jason Levesque, 55%–45%. He won every county in the district, except Piscataquis.[22]

2012

Michaud won re-election to a sixth term, defeating Republican State Senator Kevin Raye (who had run ten years earlier), 58%–42%.[23] He won every county except Washington, the location of Raye's hometown of Perry.

Tenure[edit]

Michaud then became the only freshman Democratic member of Congress to vote for the 2003 ban on intact dilation and extraction (IDX), often called partial-birth abortion. However, Michaud's stance on abortion and related reproductive issues has changed since he entered office. When he was elected in 2003, he received a 10% rating by the NARAL Pro Choice America, a reflection of pro-life votes; in 2010, the same organization gave Michaud a 100% rating. This change is likely in part because of the votes Michaud made in favor of allowing and expanding stem cell research, and his vote against banning abortion from federal health care coverage.

Mike Michaud has been an advocate for veterans for as long as he has served in Congress. As Chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, Michaud has advocated for more extensive healthcare benefits for veterans and also for more inclusive rural healthcare for veterans. In 2007 Michaud came close to being elected Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee. He has also called for lowering the cost of prescription drugs. In addition, Michaud has worked to pass legislation providing scholarships for returning soldiers, and decreasing the rate of homelessness among veterans. Recently, Michaud became an original cosponsor of “Hiring our Veterans Act” which gives tax credits to employers who hire veterans. Michaud has worked with the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) on many projects. These include a scholarship foundation for children of soldiers killed in active duty, an expansion of VA care in rural Maine, and a major increase in VA funding.

On May 29, 2014, Michaud called for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki in response to problems in the Veterans Health Administration regarding long wait times and coverups of poor performance. He had faced criticism on this issue from his opponents in the Governor's race.[24]

In addition to veterans' health, Michaud has been supporting healthcare on a larger scale. He has voted in favor of increased health coverage for children, and voted against cuts to Medicare. In 2010, he received a 100% rating from the American Public Health Association, along with favorable ratings from other healthcare groups. Michaud joined a group of 44 congressmen in November 2011 to express the importance of men's being screened for prostate cancer. This bipartisan group was formed after the United States Preventive Task Force recommended that healthy men should not have such a screening.

Michaud is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives. He is the only Congressperson from New England in the coalition. On October 19, 2007, he endorsed former Senator John Edwards for President.

Michaud was briefly mentioned in Maine native author Stephen King's most recent work, 11/22/63.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

2014 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

On June 13, 2013, Michaud announced that he was forming an exploratory committee to enter the 2014 race for Governor of Maine. His campaign announced on August 14 that he would officially enter the race the next day.[4][25][26]

Personal life[edit]

Michaud came out as gay in an editorial released to the Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily News, and the Associated Press on November 4, 2013.[27] He is the first openly LGBT congressman to serve the state of Maine, one of seven current members of the United States House of Representatives to be openly LGBT, and one of eight in either house of Congress. If he is elected Governor, he will be the first openly gay Governor in the United States at the time of his election (Gov. Jim McGreevey of New Jersey came out after he had taken office).

Michaud served as a Grand Marshal for the 2014 Portland Pride Parade on June 21.[28]

Electoral history[edit]

Year Office Election Subject Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  %
2002 Maine's 2nd congressional district General Mike Michaud Democratic 116,868 52.01% Kevin Raye Republican 107,849 47.99%
2004 Maine's 2nd congressional district General Mike Michaud Democratic 199,303 58.03% Brian Hamel Republican 135,547 39.47% Carl Cooley Independent[29] 8,586 2.50
2006 [30] Maine's 2nd congressional district General Mike Michaud Democratic 179,732 70.52% Laurence D'Amboise Republican 75,146 29.48%
2008 [31] Maine's 2nd congressional district General Mike Michaud Democratic 226,274 67.44% John Frary Republican 109,268 32.57%
2010 [32] Maine's 2nd congressional district General Mike Michaud Democratic 147,042 55.13% Jason Levesque Republican 119,669 44.87%
2012 [33] Maine's 2nd congressional district General Mike Michaud Democratic 191,456 58.19% Kevin Raye Republican 137,542 41.81%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Election 2012 - Mike Michaud (D)". Wall Street Journal. 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  2. ^ Belluck, Pam (2006-06-04). "Long-Scorned in Maine, French Has Renaissance". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  3. ^ a b "Michaud to co-chair French caucus". Bangor Daily News. Associated Press. 2011-01-06. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  4. ^ a b "Senate campaign over, Steve Woods is running for governor". Portland Press Herald. Associated Press. November 16, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ Juliana L’Heureux (1927-01-07). "Political Genealogy". Mainewriter.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "General Election Tabulations - November 8, 1994 - Maine House of Representatives - by District (Secretary of State, State of Maine, U.S.A.)". Maine.gov. 1994-11-08. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  9. ^ [3][dead link]
  10. ^ [4][dead link]
  11. ^ [5][dead link]
  12. ^ "Maine Senate | Maine State Senate". Maine.gov. 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  13. ^ [6][dead link]
  14. ^ "ME State Senate 03 Race - Nov 05, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  15. ^ a b "ME State Senate 03 Race - Nov 03, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  16. ^ "Michael Michaud (D-Maine)". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  17. ^ "Biography | Congressman Mike Michaud". Michaud.house.gov. 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  18. ^ "ME District 2 Race - Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  19. ^ "ME - District 02 Race - Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  20. ^ "ME - District 02 Race - Nov 07, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  21. ^ "ME - District 02 Race - Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  22. ^ "ME - District 02 Race - Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  23. ^ "ME - District 02 Race - Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  24. ^ "U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud calls for VA chief to resign". Kennebec Journal. 2014-05-30. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  25. ^ "Senate campaign over, Steve Woods is running for governor". Portland Press Herald. Associated Press. November 16, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  26. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (June 17, 2013). "Michaud Gearing Up to Battle Cutler, History in Maine Gubernatorial Bid". Smart Politics. 
  27. ^ "Yes, I'm gay, Michaud says. Now let's get our state back on track". Portland Press Herald. November 4, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Michaud leading Portland Pride Parade". Kennebec Journal/Maine Today Media. June 21, 2014. 
  29. ^ Cooley represented the Socialist Equality Party
  30. ^ "ME - District 2 Race - Nov 07, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  31. ^ "ME - District 2 Race- Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  32. ^ "ME - District 2 Race- Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  33. ^ "ME - District 2 Race - Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Baldacci
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd congressional district

2003–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Libby Mitchell
Democratic nominee for Governor of Maine
2014
Current holder
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
John Kline
United States Representatives by seniority
157th
Succeeded by
Candice Miller