After coming out during a failed run for governor in Maine, Mike Michaud's political career entered a new stage this week with his confirmation as assistant secretary of Labor.
Michaud was nominated by Obama for the job, overseeing veterans' employment and training, in July. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate this week, according to a joint announcement today by Maine's senators — Susan Collins and Angus King.
“I worked with Mike for many years when he represented Maine’s Second District and have seen his dedication to our veterans," said Collins, a Republican. "His commitment to ensuring that our veterans have the training and jobs they deserve when they return to civilian life will serve our veterans well.”
King, an independent who is a former governor of Maine, added, “Mike is a man of true character whose commitment to veterans extends decades.”
While the administration includes a number of out leaders at Michaud's level and below, no one at the level of Cabinet secretary has ever served while openly LGBT.
Michaud nearly became the first out person elected as governor with a run against Tea Party favorite Paul LePage in 2014. During that campaign, Michaud came out as a gay man because he was facing a whisper campaign against him.
Michaud had already served 12 years in Congress representing Maine’s 2nd District.