Democrat Lincoln Chafee launches 2016 exploratory committee

Lincoln ChafeeChafee2016.comLincoln Chafee

Former Rhode Island governor and senator Lincoln Chafee announced on Thursday that he’s forming a political action committee to consider running for president as a Democrat in 2016. Chafee made his announcement on a website that included a pair of videotapes messages. 

“I’m Lincoln Chafee and I am a Democrat considering a run for president of the United States,” Chafee said. 

Chafee has had a rather unorthodox political career. He served in the US Senate as a Republican before losing his re-election bid in 2006. Chafee subsequently left the GOP and became an independent in 2007. He won Rhode Island’s 2010 gubernatorial election as an independent and served in the State House until January of this year. 

While governor, Chafee returned to the Democratic party in 2013. His announcement on Thursday makes him the second high profile Democrat to officially consider a 2016 bid following former Virginia senator and secretary of the Navy Jim Webb, who launched an exploratory committee in November 2014.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is widely expected to be the Democratic frontrunner and is reportedly imminently preparing her own official launch. In his announcement, Chafee emphasised the need for “debate” within the Democratic Party and the country. He also stressed the fact he voted against the Iraq War in 2002. Clinton voted in favour of that conflict, and she has since said it was the “wrong” choice.  

Watch Chafee’s announcement video below. 

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