Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud says NO REGRETS in coming out as a gay man. In an interview with WMTW-TV on Monday, the Maine gubernatorial candidate says the decision was freeing and truthful. But also strategic with Mainers’ well being in mind. Michaud says “if I could bring attention to who I am as an individual and if I can use that attention to bring benefits for the state of Maine I’m gonna do it.” And its promises like that, that have garnered Michaud loyal support and most importantly VOTES from groups like Maine veterans. Harry Hafford who runs the Northern Maine Veteran Cemetary Corporation says Michaud’s coming out doesn’t change his mind or vote about Michaud one bit. To HAFFORD, Michaud’s past record of keeping campaign promises is all that counts. ”It didn’t bother me at all. He’s always been an honest forthright guy, when he gives you his word he keeps it. He has just been great for the state of Maine and for veterans in general” says Hafford. But UMPI Government Affairs Professor Brent Anderson says Michaud’s decision to come out enables him to control the media story. And DISABLES his opponents from using it as an attack tool throughout the campaign. He says the election could go one of two ways. “He may lose some votes in the really conservative Catholic St. John Valley communities but I think that’s really gonna be outweighed by the fact that he’s really gonna be in a competition with Cutler for the more progressive urban vote and he’s gonna have support from out of state to get the first openly gay Maine governor elected” says Anderson. Hafford says Michaud’s announcement makes no difference TO HIM. Hafford says what should count in every election are the issues…and improving Mainers’ lives. Hafford also says he doesn’t speak for all Maine vets. And he expects there are some Mainers who might not vote for Michaud because he’s gay. Anderson says Michaud’s coming out could reflect an overall turning of the tide for many gay politicians and their opposition. “This is not a negative for him is that Governor LePage is making no hay about it whatsoever, I mean he’s keeping totally mum about it so I think what that indicates is that this is not something that his opponents can use against him,” says Anderson.