Yesterday Rhode Island residents received a shock when—in a hastily convened press conference outside of the Cranston branch of the R.I. Department of Motor Vehicles—Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17 announced that he would not be seeking reelection next year.
The announcement sent shock waves through the state’s political world and will almost certainly jump-start what was already expected to be a heated 2014 gubernatorial race.
During the press conference Chafee explained his rationale for opting out after his one term expires in January, 2015: “The challenges we have in this state are very significant and I want to put all my energy and time into addressing those challenges,” Chafee told reporters at the press conference. Here’s a video of the announcement.
Part of what made the announcement so surprising was Chafee’s other big decision this year — that he would be switching his party affiliation from Independent to Democrat. Most observers interpreted the switch as an indication he was gearing up to seek reelection. Continue Reading