First lady Michelle Obama will headline a free rally in support of Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s gubernatorial campaign on Oct. 3 at the University of Maine in Orono.

She will be joined by Michaud and Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, for the midafternoon rally at the Collins Center for the Arts, the Michaud campaign announced Monday.

The first lady’s visit continues the string of high-profile figures to campaign on behalf of Michaud in his three-way race with Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler.

Other prominent Democrats to campaign for Michaud include former President Bill Clinton, Democratic political strategist James Carville, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, who heads the Democratic Governors Association, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Michaud also appeared on stage in September with Vice President Joe Biden at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Although it was not a campaign event, Biden touched on middle-class issues that are central to Michaud’s campaign.

Michaud has a slight lead over LePage in publicly released polls, but it’s within the margin of error. Cutler trails a distant third.

Cutler almost beat LePage in 2010, losing by less than 2 percentage points. This year, Democrats, who abandoned Democratic candidate Libby Mitchell in 2010, appear to be staying united behind Michaud.

The exact time of the rally is still being planned. Tickets are free, but an RSVP is required. Go to Michaud2014.com/firstlady for more information.

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: randybillings

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