At a Glance
- Career History: Maine state Senator (1994-2002); Maine state House (1980-1994); employee at the Great Northern Paper (1974-2002)
- Birthday: January 18, 1955
- Hometown: East Millinocket, Maine
- Religion: Catholic
- Committees: Committee on Veterans' Affairs ; Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure ; Committee on Small Business
- DC Office: 1724 Longworth HOB, 202-225-6306
- District Offices: Bangor (207-942-6935); Lewiston (207-782-3704); Presaue Isle (207-764-1036); Waterville (207-873-5713)
- Web site
Path to Power
One of a few congressmen not to have attended college, Michaud became an employee of Great Northern Paper after his 1973 high-school graduation. While he was elected to the state House in 1980, he kept that job for 28 years until he he was elected to Congress. To accommodate his legislative schedule, he shifted his factory shifts - for instance working weekends.
In 1994, Michaud defeated four-term Republican incumbent Margaret Ludwig to move to the state Senate. He later served as co-chairman of the state Senate Appropriations Committee and as Senate President.
In urging Democrats to focus on the working-class, Michaud has long positioned himself as an ally of organized labor. While a state senator, he championed services meant to help displaced workers.
In the House, he has become a leading opponent of free- trade agreements, arguing that they have contributed to the loss of manufacturing jobs and by extension to alcohol abuse and health concerns. He is a founder of the House Trade Working Group, made up of legislators - mostly Democrats - who are opposed to free-trade deals.
Michaud has relied on his membership in the Blue Dog Coalition to bolster his influence on House proceedings; in summer 2009, for instance, he joined 39 other Blue Dogs in signing a letter expressing opposition to a "Medicare-like public option."
Michaud has received enthusiastic support from unions, including thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. In the House, he founded the House Trade Working Group; he worked with Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.) to whip opposition to a free-trade agreement with Peru.