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Lincoln Chafee

State Governor / U.S. Senator
Date Of Birth:
26 March 1953
Place Of Birth:
Providence, Rhode Island
Best Known As:
U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, 1999-2007

Lincoln Chafee is the former Republican senator from Rhode Island who in 2015 began a long-shot run for U.S. president as a Democrat. Lincoln Davenport Chafee comes from an old Rhode Island political family: his great-great-grandfather, Henry Lippitt, was governor of Rhode Island from 1875-77; his father, John Chafee, was governor of Rhode Island (1963--1969), Secretary of the Navy under Richard Nixon, and a U.S. senator from 1977 to 1999. Lincoln Chafee graduated from Brown University in 1975 with a degree in Classics, then went to Montana State University and studied as a farrier -- a horse shoer. He spent seven years practicing the craft at harness tracks in the U.S. and Canada before returning to Rhode Island. He was elected mayor of Warwick, Rhode Island in 1992 and re-elected in 1994, 1996 and 1998. Things changed suddenly in 1999, when his father died and Lincoln was appointed to serve out the rest of his U.S. Senate term. Lincoln Chafee was elected to the Senate on his own in 2000 and served a full six-year term. Like his father, he became known as a Yankee conservative in fiscal matters but a liberal on social issues: he supported abortion rights, same-sex marriage and the metric system, opposed the death penalty, and in 2002 was the only Republican senator to vote against authorizing President George W. Bush to use military force in Iraq. In 2006 he ran for reelection but was defeated by Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse. He changed his affiliation to Independent and in 2008 published memoir titled Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President. He served as a visiting fellow at Brown University and then in 2010 was elected governor of Rhode Island as andependent. Lincoln Chafee changed his affiliation to Democrat in 2013, while still governor, then declined to run for re-election in 2014. Instead, the next year announced that he would be a Democratic candidate for president in 2016.

Extra Credit:

Lincoln Chafee married the former Stephanie Danforth in 1990. They have three children: Louisa (born 1991), Caleb (b. 1994) and Thea (b. 1997)… Lincoln Chafee attended the prep school Phillips Academy, the same school attended by Jeb Bush… Lincoln Chafee was a varsity wrestler in all four years at Brown University… Lincoln Chafee was a co-chair of Barack Obama‘s 2012 re-election campaign, even though Chafee was not a Democrat at the time… Chafee’s work as a farrier “earned him a mention in Hoofcare & Lameness: The Journal of Equine Foot Science,” according to a 2015 NPR.com article.

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