Chafee to formally announce presidential bid Wednesday

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ARLINGTON, Virginia (WPRI) — Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee will be visiting a university considered one of the most diverse in the country on Wednesday to make the biggest announcement of his career.

Chafee will make official his run for president of the United States at George Mason University’s Center for Politics and Foreign Relations in Arlington, Virginia.Eyewitness News anchor Steve Nielsen is traveling to Virginia, and will have live reports from Arlington Wednesday on Eyewitness News starting live at 5 p.m. on WPRI 12.

Chafee announced in April he was launching an exploratory committee, aiming to find out if a presidential run might be worth it.

The announcement came as a surprise to many in Rhode Island and around the country. Since then, he’s been meeting with voters in battleground states such as New Hampshire and South Carolina.

“My record will speak for itself, my character will speak for itself, and my vision for the future I think is going to be a winner,” he said of his chances in the race.

Chafee left the governor’s office with a low approval rating, and in a recent Quinnipiac University poll, he was tied for last among Democratic presidential hopefuls – picking up just 1 percent of voters.

Eyewitness News political analyst Joe Fleming believes Chafee is facing a tough battle against major political heavyweights, but even if his campaign doesn’t make it far, it’ll bring the issues he cares about back into the spotlight.

“I think he wants to get his liberal position out on this,” said Fleming. “Remember, Lincoln Chafee was a Republican, who became an independent, who became a Democrat, who is now sort of a liberal Democrat. So I think he wants to get his views out to the voters, and I think he really believes the best way to do it is running for president.”

In the Democratic primary, Chafee will face off with the obvious frontrunner in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton plans to visit Rhode Island later this month for a fundraiser.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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