Mike Michaud grew up in Medway, Maine, and now lives in East Millinocket. After high school, he went to work in 1973 for the Great Northern Paper Co., where his father and grandfather worked.
Michaud, who does not have an undergraduate degree, attended a John F. Kennedy School of Government program at Harvard University and has been awarded honorary Doctor of Public Service degrees from Unity College, Husson University and Maine Maritime Academy.
He was elected to the state House in 1980, serving seven consecutive terms until his election to the state Senate in 1994.
He was elected to the U.S. House in 2002, making him the first Franco-American from Maine to be elected to federal office.
Michaud is single.
Mike Michaud says he entered politics because of his desire to clean up northern Maine's Penobscot River. He says his years of employment as a papermaker at the Great Northern Paper Co. has shaped his perspective in both the Maine capital of Augusta and in Washington.
Michaud's 2012 re-election race for Maine's 2nd Congressional District, features a rematch with Republican Kevin Raye, whom Michaud defeated in a close race in 2002. In between, Michaud has coasted to relatively easy re-election victories.
Michaud is part lunch-bucket liberal — a strong supporter of organized labor — and part fiscal conservative — aligned with the Blue Dog Coalition of moderate Democrats.
He has been an outspoken critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement, while espousing relatively conservative positions on some high-profile social issues such as gay rights and abortion.
He joined Maine paper companies and union paper workers in April 2010 in commending the U.S. Department of Commerce for its preliminary dumping-duty determinations against certain coated-paper imports from China and Indonesia.
In 2012, he presented President Barack Obama with a pair of New Balance sneakers, underscoring the company's continued production in Maine, where it employs 900 workers.
In July 2012, Michaud and Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut introduced legislation that would require annual reports on Russia's compliance with its World Trade Organization obligations and action when the country has not met its commitments.
Michaud has made veterans' affairs a key focus. He is chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee on health and has sponsored legislation to improve counseling and care for the tens of thousands of military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder. Michaud traveled in October 2008 to Kuwait and Iraq — his third trip to the region that year.
His subcommittee held a hearing in the spring of 2010 on a pilot program allowing rural veterans to receive health care services through providers other than those affiliated with the Veterans' Affairs Department.
Michaud can speak French in areas of Maine where that language is commonly used. He is quietly proud of his Franco-American heritage but is more outspoken about his clock-punching, blue-collar background. As a reminder, he brought his workman's lunch box to Washington.
He was regarded during his tenure in the state Senate as an accomplished legislator who gained broad knowledge of the inner workings of state government. He was Senate chairman of the budget-reviewing joint Appropriations Committee and became known as a master negotiator.
Michaud was chosen in 2000 to serve as state Senate president for the first half of a two-year session that saw the chamber deadlocked between Democrats and Republicans — 17-17, with one independent.
Committee Assignments: Veterans Affairs; Transportation and Infrastructure
American Conservative Union Rating: 4
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 95
Mike Michaud is not seeking re-election in Maine's 2nd Congressional District. Michaud won his June 2014 gubernatorial primary, he will face Paul LePage in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on June 13, 2014.)