Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee Announces Bid for President

Politician who has served office as Republican and Independent joins Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders in seeking Democratic nomination

Former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee formally announced his entry to the 2016 presidential race with a speech in Arlington, Virginia, Wednesday evening.

“I enjoy challenges, and today we have many facing America,” Chafee said in his speech Wednesday. “Today I am formally entering the race for the Democratic nomination for president.”

Chafee is running as a Democrat, but he comes from a long line of Republican politicians, including his father John Chafee, who served as a Republican governor and senator, as well as secretary of the Navy for President Richard Nixon.

Lincoln himself entered politics as a Republican when he was appointed to replace his father as a senator for Rhode Island. A liberal Republican — the only senator from the party to vote against the Iraq war in 2002 — Chafee eventually left the GOP in 2007, and won his Rhode Island governorship as an independent in 2010.

Chafee is the fourth presidential hopeful to enter the race for the Democratic nomination, with Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already announced.

Following in the footsteps of his competitors, Chafee made social media a central component of his campaign launch.