Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has said that he’s “90% percent there” on deciding to launch a primary campaign challenge against Senator Sheldon Whitehouse according to the popular beltway website Politico.

“Chafee was appointed to serve as a Republican senator for Rhode Island in 1999 following the death of his father, Sen. John Chafee. In 2000, Lincoln Chafee was elected to a full term. He was defeated in his re-election bid in 2006 by Whitehouse, who has served in the position since. Chafee went on to be elected governor of Rhode Island as as an independent in 2010, later joining the Democratic Party in 2013.”

Chafee told WPRI 12 that’s it’s “very likely” that he’ll challenge Whitehouse

Chafee believes that Senator Whitehouse is weak in the polls and vulnerable to a challenge. Speaking of the recent WPRI 12/ RWU poll Chafee said “the poll results jumped off the page, and Senator Whitehouse just doesn’t have solid support according to that poll here in Rhode Island.”

Chafee told WPRI 12 Wednesday that “the primary is really the election in Rhode Island.”

“I learned the hard way, losing in 2006, what an anchor that ‘R’ was next to my name.”


Well it looks like this year’s election cycle in Rhode Island is going to be one of the most exciting we’ve seen in years, with former Secretart of State Matt Brown announcing his primary challenge against Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo and a full Republican field for governor that includes former Alex & Ani CEO Giovanni Feroce, Cranston Mayor Alan Fung and House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan vying for the Republican nomination. Former Republican State Representative Joe Trillo has said he’ll run for governor as an independent.

Chafee’s candidacy actually isn’t that far fetched. In 2006 Whitehouse defeated Chafee 53.5% to 46.5% for the senate seat after Chafee survived a bruising challenge from former Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey and this U.S. Senate seat was held by Chafee’s father, Senator John Chafee, from 1976 until his death in 1999.

Anyway, buckle up your seat belts and snap up your chin straps because things are about to get fun!

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