Lincoln Chafee, the former senator and governor of Rhode Island, has joined the Libertarian Party.
First reported by the Boston Globe, Lincoln Chafee has reportedly made a move from Rhode Island to Wyoming and registered Libertarian in the process. When asked about whether he would run for some office in the future under the Libertarian Party label, Chafee was non-committal.
Lincoln Chafee was first elected to office as the mayor of Warwick in 1992, a town of about 85,000 people in Rhode Island. He would go on to serve as a Republican senator, independent governor, and ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. One notable vote Chafee made as a Senator was against the bill authorizing the use of force in Iraq.
The timing of Lincoln Chafee’s switch has not gone unnoticed by major media outlets as some are speculating whether he is planning a run for president as a Libertarian. Such a move by a former major party elected official is not unprecedented. Bob Barr, a former representative, did so in 2008 and Gary Johnson, a former governor, did so in 2012 and 2016. Mike Gravel, a former Democratic senator like Chaffee attempted to do so in 2008 but Bob Barr ultimately won the nomination that year.