Rhode Island Gov. Chafee Switching to Democrats

He got elected as an independent after leaving the GOP
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2013 12:43 PM CDT
Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.   (AP Photo/David Klepper)

(Newser) – It looks like Democrats will be adding another governor to their ranks. Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee plans to switch to the party before he launches his bid for re-election in 2014, reports Politico. Chafee used to be a Republican senator, but he won the governor's seat in 2010 as an independent. The governor's office hasn't confirmed the news yet, but the Washington Post also has it, and considers the switch good news for Democrats.

For one thing, it means an independent Chafee won't be splitting the vote with a Democrat and potentially opening the way to a GOP win in a mostly Democratic state, writes Sean Sullivan. It doesn't mean, however, that victory will be a slam dunk for Chafee, who has lackluster approval ratings. In fact, he might end up being an underdog in his new party's primary, which the Providence Journal says will include Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and state treasurer Gina Raimondo. (Read more Lincoln Chafee stories.)

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