NARRAGANSETT, R.I. – Independent Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is joining the Democratic Party ahead of his 2014 bid for a second term, his spokeswoman said Wednesday, confirming a move that Chafee has been talking about for months as a way to better position himself for re-election.
Chafee would not immediately address his party switch when asked about it Wednesday, saying only that he would announce his decision at his local board of canvassers in Warwick today. But he did say his priorities haven’t changed.
The governor, a former Republican senator, became a political independent in 2007, the year after he lost re-election to the U.S. Senate. He was elected as the nation’s only independent governor in 2010.
Chafee has noted in the past that he shares many positions with Democrats and that joining the party would help with fundraising.