Chafee is Running for Governor as an Independent

It’s official (or maybe it’s not).  Lincoln Chafee is running for Governor as an Independent.

This is why I believe, as an independent candidate for Governor, I bring the local, national and international experience to make government work for all our citizens while at the same time insuring Rhode Island’s position in the global economy.

Chafee also talked about his decision last night on the Rachel Maddow show.

Writing on RIFuture, I put the odds of Chafee being inaugurated as Rhode Island’s next governor at 1:1.  Here’s why.

Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee has had a huge year ever since his February 2008 endorsement of then Sen. Barack Obama just weeks before the RI presidential primary.  On top of that, I have seen polling numbers where Chafee is the only candidate topping 60% in a state whose citizenry is largely disillusioned by the performance of many of its elected officials and disappointed in the current direction of the state.

With the recent news that Chafee is – for all intents and purposes – running for Governor and that his campaign would be led by former BankRI executive and Democrat Jim DeRentis, many political leaders across Rhode Island are taking a serious look at his candidacy.

As I said in this recent Phoenix story on the 2010 gubernatorial race, I think you may see many progressives who were responsible for Chafee’s defeat in 2006 support his ressurection for Governor in 2010.  I am not suggesting buyer’s remorse in the least.  I just believe that in 2006, progressives were looking for a check on Bush’s power, which Sen. Whitehouse has delivered.  And, in 2010, Rhode Island voters may be ready for a candidate who shuns partisanship, believes in environmentalism and smart growth and puts Rhode Island’s interests first.

At the end of the day, Chafee’s greatest strengths are that (1) he has impeccable name recognition throughout the state, (2) he is running as an Independent and can sit on the sidelines until the September 14, 2010 democratic primary is over and then steamroll whichever Democrat emerges bloody and bruised from the primary (see Chafee in 2000 or York in 2002 or Whitehouse in 2006); and (3) he has unlimited resources through his family’s wealth.

Can Linc Chafee accumulate the 40% of the vote that he would need to win a 3-way race for Governor?  Odds say even money that the answer is yes.  Cash on Hand (independently wealthy); Website and Facebook Page.

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