UPDATED: Governor Chafee Not Seeking Reelection in 2014
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Chafee who won in 2010 as an Independent had shocked much of Rhode Island a few months ago when he decided to become a Democrat.
Press from across Rhode Island was urged to attend Chafee's 2:00 pm press conference by the Governor's press office. The event was a shocker.
Chafee was upbeat about his success and pushed off thoughts that his low approval rating triggered his decision, "We're making great progress with efficiency. We're making progress with school funding and pensions. I enjoy this challenge."
"There were many factors...I've talked with my family," said Chafee. When asked why he had switched parties, he said, "I changed parties because I wanted a political home."
"I want to do the job well for the next year-and-a-half. I think I could have won."
Chafee first ran for City Council in Warwick in the 1980's and then was the city's first GOP Mayor in decades. He was appointed by then-Governor Lincoln Almond to fill the U.S. Senate seat created when his father John Chafee died.
As U.S. Senator, Chafee was one of the most liberal members of Congress. He voted against President George W. Bush on many key votes including war in Iraq.
Chafee was defeated in his effort for re-election by now U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
In 2010, Chafee switched from the GOP to run for Governor as an Independent and split the four-way contest to win the Governor's office with 39% of the vote.
"I feel good about my decision...I'm competitive, but it's more important to be smart," said Chafee of the announcment. According to the Governor, the discussion about the future intensified in August, when the family had time to talk in Maine on vacation.
Chafee gave no indication about what is next in his future.
"I'm a positive person, I like to focus on the future," said Chafee.
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