Former US Senator & Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has ended his presidential campaign. Chafee was seeking the 2020 Libertarian Presidential nomination.
Chafee made his announcement via Facebook:
I enjoy campaigns. It is rewarding to participate in our electoral process; to exchange ideas with other candidates, to offer to the voters our experiences, visions for the future and open to inspection our past records.
As a new Libertarian I entered the race for the nomination for President and have met Libertarians from California to Alabama to New Hampshire. This adventure obviously changed with the frightening corona virus outbreak even as our campaign made a successful transfer to virtual connections via social media.
However after a tremendous amount of thought, I am no longer going to be a candidate for our Party’s nomination. I look forward to helping other Libertarians seeking office.
Chafee served as a Republican Senator until 2007 where he was considered a liberal Republican and drew criticism from the conservative wing of the party as a “RINO”, Republican in Name Only.
In 2007, he became an independent upon his departure from the Senate. A few years later, he became Governor of Rhode Island in 2011 before switching parties again in 2013 to become a Democrat. In 2016, he sought the Democratic nomination for President in a campaign that gained little traction.
While Chafee suffered a political identity crisis for more than a decade, he assured his Facebook following he has found a home with the Libertarian party:
I share with Libertarians many views but especially our aversion to foreign entanglements. In the eighteen years since I voted against the Iraq war I have experienced the difficulty of having intelligent discussions on American foreign policy and the use of our military overseas. It is almost a forbidden subject. Others who have tried, such as Ron Paul and recently, Tulsi Gabbard I’m sure would agree. The invasion of Iraq was based on a falsehood, a falsehood supported by so many in government and the media. The ramification of this mistake is with us today as we face the Covid 19 epidemic trillions in unnecessary debt.
I am still motivated by my personal experiences as an anti war candidate but accept that the timing is difficult for me as a Libertarian in 2020. Thank you to supporters and volunteers, your energy, passion and smarts added to the joy of campaigning!