Michael Herman (Mike) Michaud (born January 18, 1955) is the U.S. Representative for Maine's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The 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 where he was a member of the United Steelworkers.
Early life, education and career
Michaud 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.
Michaud was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 1980, and served seven terms there. Then in 1994 he ran for and was elected to the Maine Senate. In 1996 he was appointed chair of the Joint Appropriation Committee and in December 2000 was unanimously elected President of the Maine Senate.
Michaud was first elected in 2002, narrowly defeating Republican Kevin Raye in the race to replace John Baldacci. This election garnered considerable publicity because the Democratic candidate was pro-life, while the Republican was pro-choice.
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.
He won the 2004 election, defeating Republican Brian Hamel of Presque Isle by a large margin. In the 2006 election he defeated Republican Laurence S. D'Amboise by a 70% margin. In the 2008 election, he defeated Republican and retired Professor John Frary of Farmington, by a considerable majority.
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 of the cost of prescription drugs.
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.
In 2010, Michaud overcame strong anti-Democrat and anti-incumbent political sentiment, and won reelection, defeating Republican Jason Levesque, by a 55-45 margin. It was Michaud's closest margin of victory since his original election.
November 20th, 2011