Anthony Principi, the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs for President Bush, and former U.S. Rep. Steve Buyer, who served as the Republican chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, campaigned yesterday for U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud in Lewiston.

The two Republicans endorsed Michaud, the Democratic nominee for governor, as he released his plans for improving state-level services for Maine’s veterans.

Michaud worked closely with Principi to save the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and expand the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in Limestone, both of which were targeted for closure by the Base Closure and Realignment Commission process in 2005.

“I have known Congressman Michaud for many years,” Principi said. “He’s served the country so well as a congressman, and he’s a terrific statesman.”

Michaud served with Buyer on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, where the two worked together to pass legislation to improve services for veterans.

“Without the bipartisan leadership of Mike Michaud on the House Veterans Affair Committee, so many good things that we accomplished would not have happened,” Buyer said.

In addition to Principi and Buyer, Michaud also was joined by retired Brig. Gen. Don McCormack. McCormack, a Republican who served as a political appointee in the LePage administration and a former assistant adjutant general for Air for the Maine National Guard, endorsed Michaud in September.

“Supporting our veterans isn’t a partisan issue and today’s event demonstrates that,” Michaud said. “In Congress, I worked with Congressman Buyer and Secretary Principi to better the lives of veterans in Maine and across the country. And I really appreciate their support today. I plan to bring that same bipartisan leadership to the Blaine House if elected governor this November.”

Michaud’s veterans’ policy includes:

  • Protecting the 133rd Engineer Battalion;
  • Expand access to health care through Medicaid to nearly 70,000 Mainers, including 3,000 veterans;
  • Improve veteran services
  • Perform a head-to-toe assessment of Maine’s Bureau of Veterans Services and the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management to identify ways to modernize and improve its function
  • Direct state agencies to collaborate on identifying and informing veterans of available state and federal level services.
  • Increase focus on mental health services, rural access, women veterans services, maximize federal services; and, veterans homelessness.
  • Improve the state’s reintegration program for military men and women returning from combat; and,
  • Break down barriers to employment for veterans.

​For more information on Michaud’s plan, click here: http://www.michaud2014.com/veterans

After the event in Lewiston, Michaud, Principi and Buyer traveled to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for a tour.

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