LEWISTON — The eyes as blue as racquet balls? The boyish grin? Those dimples?

Oh, yeah. Michael Carey has it going on.

But don’t take our word for it. A higher authority has deemed the Lewiston representative worthy of your lusty attention. Cosmopolitan magazine has declared Carey among the sexiest politicians at work in the nation.

To be more specific, they named the Lewiston Democrat among the “7 Politicians We’d Like to see Shirtless.”

No, really.

“Knowing this blue-eyed New Englander is working hard in the State House of Representatives,” gushes the write-up next to Carey’s photo on the magazine’s Web site, “makes us want to brave the Maine winter just to vote for him.”

Not bad for a guy who really just wants to humbly pursue historic renovation as a tool for economic development. Who chairs a Lewiston task force considering redevelopment options for Bates Mill No. 5. Who sits on the board with Androscoggin Habitat for Humanity.

Carey is also a law student. He got married in the fall. He is known as a quiet lawmaker dedicated to working on policy. He doesn’t crave attention.

Which only makes it more hilarious for his friends and colleagues.

“This is priceless,” said Emily Cain, a Democratic representative out of Orono. “Mike is a very serious guy. He couldn’t be more serious about the work he does. He certainly doesn’t seek out this kind of attention. That makes it even more hysterical.”

So many people were snickering and passing comments about the Cosmo honor on Thursday that Carey had to get up and address the matter. And getting up isn’t easy for the studly politico these days.

“He’s been hobbling around the State House on crutches after he had a skiing accident on the last day of his honeymoon,” Cain said. “The cast comes halfway up his thigh. The timing of this is just so ironic. It’s been a lot of fun today at the State House.”

Sen. Margaret Craven, D-Lewiston, couldn’t agree more. It was twice as fun heckling Carey since he pays little attention to his own self-image.

“He’s shy,” Craven said. “Even though he’s very handsome, he thinks it’s weird when people say so. It’s been great fun.”

Yes, it’s fun and all, but a mystery emerged: Who nominated Carey for placement on the Cosmo list? Who alerted the magazine that such a stunning character was making laws in Augusta?

No one knew or would admit that they knew.

However Cosmo was turned on to Carey as a candidate for its list, Craven says they ought to see him up close.

“He’s actually much better looking in person,” she said.

The list to which Carey was named was put together after the world began clamoring about newly elected U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who once posed nude for Cosmo.

The declaration is obvious: Massachusetts does not have a monopoly on politicos who look good enough to double as pin-up models.

Carey was unavailable for comment Thursday. He can be forgiven, perhaps, given all that’s happening in his life these days. The new wife, the broken leg, the rigors of law school and the dubious new fame.

Cain said her friend and colleague was handling it well while waiting for the buzz about his Cosmo appearance to subside.

“He’s taking it all in stride,” Cain said, laughing.

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