Name: Lincoln Davenport Chafee
What he used to do: Independent governor of Rhode Island. Chafee left office in January 2015 after serving one term. Before that he was the Republican U.S. senator from Rhode Island. During the 1990's, Chafee was the Mayor of Warwick, Rhode Island.
Like father like son: Chafee’s father, John, served as the 66th governor and then a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island. Chafee planned on running for his father’s seat in the 2000 election, but Chafee’s father’s passed away October 1999 at age 77. Chafee was appointed by the governor to finish out his father’s term. Chafee was elected to a full six-year term as U.S. Senator in 2000.
Declared as a candidate: June 3, 2015 at George Mason University.
In his own words: “Let’s join the rest of the world and go metric. It's easy...it doesn't take long before 34 degrees is hot."
Breakout moment in politics: Voted against the Iraq War. Chafee was the only Republican senator to vote against authorizing military action against Iraq on October 11, 2002. “...We had a moment in time there before Sept. 11 where we really were looking at a peaceful world. So when Sept. 11 occurred, I thought we have to make really good decisions now and not jeopardize this possibility of handing to our children a peaceful world,” Chafee told ABC News in a 2015 interview. “So when they started talking about going into war in Iraq, I had my concerns about the reasons and were they accurate about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction?”
Might have wished for a do-over: The Christmas tree controversy. When it was Christmas time in 2011, Chafee and his office called the evergreen tree decorated and lit up inside the Rhode Island statehouse rotunda a “holiday tree” to try to be more inclusive of other religions. This sparked protests by some of his constituents who were not happy with Chafee and demanded he return to calling the "holiday tree" a Christmas tree. Chafee told the Daily Beast that he regrets not fostering a healthy discussion with the Rhode Island residents about the issue.
Switching parties: First he was Republican - like his father - although he was left leaning on various issues like gay marriage and a woman’s right to choose. “It used to be there was a home in the Republican Party for those philosophies ... but there became less of an opportunity for those of us with those views to stay in the Republican Party,” Chafee told ABC News. He left the Republican party in September 2007 after losing a run for a second term as U.S. senator and then ran for governor in 2010 as an Independent. While he was governor, Chafee officially registered as a Democrat May 30, 2013.
Could be the first farrier in the White House: Before he got into politics, Chafee worked as a horse farrier - a blacksmith that shoes horses. After graduating from Brown University, he attended Montana State University’s Horseshoeing School and then went to work for the next seven years at various racetracks across the U.S. and Canada.
His feud with retired baseball player Curt Schilling: The former Red Sox pitcher that’s known for his bloody sock during the 2004 American League Championship Series started his own video game company, 38 Studios, when he was still playing baseball. Schilling moved the company from Massachusetts to Rhode Island after being offered a $75 million loan guarantee in 2010. Unfortunately, Schilling's company started losing money - eventually going bankrupt - which led to a battle between Schilling and the governor's office. Schilling blamed Chafee, believing that the governor never wanted his company to succeed. Although Chafee opposed the loan guarantee before he became governor, he argued he was the company's biggest cheerleader.
Wild college days: In a 1999 interview with a local news station, Chafee admitted to using cocaine several times while he was at Brown University: “It’s not something I’m proud of.”