Today, at the National Press Club in Washington, former Republican Senator, Independent Governor, and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, formally announced he is seeking the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.
Born into a politically connected family, Chafee succeeded his father, John Chafee, as U.S. Senator in 1999 and established himself as a Liberal Republican, emphasizing support for gun control and environmental protections. He was the only Senate Republican to vote against the authorization for the Iraq War in 2002, but supported the Patriot Act the previous year. In the 2004 presidential election, he wrote-in former President George H.W. Bush. Chafee was voted out of office in the Democratic wave election of 2006. The next year he publicly endorsed the presidential campaign of future president Barack Obama and officially left the Republican Party. He was elected Governor of Rhode Island as an Independent in 2010 but did not seek re-election. He endorsed the re-election of President Obama in 2012 and joined the Democratic Party in 2013. He sought the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination and participated in a widely criticized Democratic debate in which he called for the adoption of the metric system. Due to a lack of support, he withdrew before the primaries and endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
See video of his official announcement below:
Chafee joins a growing field of candidates that includes New Hampshire representative Max Abramson, anti-war activist Adam Kokesh, businessman John McAfee, former Vice chair Arvin Vohra, 1996 Vice presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen, 2000 presidential candidate Jacob Hornberger, software engineer Dan Behrman, Radical caucus vice chair Kim Ruff and performance artist Vermin Supreme.
Others speculated to make a run include former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, Independent Congressman Justin Amash, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, and businessman Rocky De La Fuente.