U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud of Maine has announced that he's gay, hoping to defuse any "whisper campaigns" that might seek to make his sexual orientation a political issue.

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The Democratic candidate for governor writes in an editorial piece provided to various news outlets and posted on his campaign’s Facebook page that he wanted people to know that "I am not ashamed of who I am."

Michaud is a six-term congressman from East Millinocket and is seen as the Democratic frontrunner in the 2014 election against Republican Governor Paul LePage and independent candidate Eliot Cutler.

You can read Rep. Michaud’s full statement here.