Governor Lincoln Chafee has announced that he will not seek re-election. Chafee made the announcement at a press conference at the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles in Cranston.
The announcement comes less than four months after the Governor changed his political affiliation from independent to democrat.
Chafee said that he has chosen not to run for re-election because running a campaign will take away from his ability to do the things that he enjoys doing for Rhode Islanders including lowering unemployment and cutting wait time DMV. Chafee touted that since he has been in office wait times at the DMV have been cut down to twenty minutes.
In the past year Chafee has said that he was fundraising for a re-election campaign. He was expected to face off in a Democratic Primary against Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasuer Gina Raimondo, although no formal announcement has been made by either candidate.
Taveras released the following statement after Gov. Chafee made the announcement, "I have a great deal of respect for Governor Chafee. He is a man of integrity who has dedicated his career to public service. Governor Chafee understands the need to support cities and towns. My office has worked closely with the Governor's office and will continue to do so for the rest of his term."
Raimondo had a similar sentiment, "I would like to thank Governor Chafee for his many years of public service to the state of Rhode Island. Like his father before him, the Governor always had Rhode Island's best interests at heart and was an unfailing optimist during very difficult times," she said. "I enjoyed working with him in public life and wish him and his family the best in the years ahead. I also look forward to finding ways to work together with him in the future to continue to move Rhode Island forward."
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a likely Republican Contender for Governor said that his decision to run will not be affected by the actions of others. "I've consistently stated that I am taking a serious look at the race and if I believe that my experience as Mayor of Cranston coupled with my experience in the private sector provides the necessary skill set to lead Rhode Island, then I will move forward with that decision. Right now I am doing my due diligence listening to the people of Rhode Island," said Fung. Fung wished the Governor the best in his future endeavors.
Chafee served as a Senator with President Barack Obama and was invited to speak at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. When asked if he would pursue a position in the Obama administration the Governor noted that he has no plans aside from finishing his term as Rhode Island Governor.
Chafee served as a United State Senator from Rhode Island from 1999 to 2007. At the time he was affiliated as a Republican but after he lost re-election to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, he unaffiliated.