Openly gay Mike Michaud, who is campaigning to run Maine, served as grand marshal of Portland's Gay Pride Parade, the state's largest.

The 59-year-old gubernatorial candidate marched alongside a white convertible in Saturday's parade, the AP reported.

“Maine has come a long ways and our nation has come a long ways, but there's still a long way to go,” he told the wire service.

Michaud, who is hoping to unseat Governor Paul LePage, a Republican, reluctantly came out in a op-ed late last year, saying he wanted to address a whisper campaign about his sexual orientation.

“They want people to question whether I am gay.”

“Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: 'Yes I am. But why should it matter?'” he wrote in his op-ed.

He added that his private life is boring.

If elected in November, Michaud, a six-term congressman, would become the nation's first openly gay elected governor. In 2004, former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey came out gay while in office.