US: Mike Michaud loses bid to become first openly gay governor

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Democrat Mike Michaud has conceded defeat in his bid to become the first openly gay US governor.

Mr Michaud, who is a member of the US House of Representatives, was challenging incumbent Republican Maine governor Paul LePage – who has one of the lowest approval ratings for a governor in the US.

However, despite strong support, Mr Michaud was unable to buck the trend of Democrat losses across the US, and conceded defeat with 44.1 percent of the vote, to LePage’s 47.5 percent.

A moderate independent candidate, Eliot Cutler, took 8.4% of the vote – depriving Mr Michaud of the numbers needed to unseat LePage.

Mr Michaud – who had been personally endorsed by First Lady Michelle Obama – said: “I want to congratulate Governor LePage on his re-election and I want to wish him the very best as he leads our state over the next four years.”

The Congressman came out last November, telling a crowd: “I am not ashamed of who I am.”

This summer he marshalled the state’s biggest Pride parade for the first time.