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  Chafee Backtracks a Bit on Possible Bid For Rhode Island Governor
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ContributorCOSDem 
Last EditedCOSDem  Apr 30, 2009 12:01pm
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News DateThursday, April 30, 2009 08:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionPennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter wasn't the only prominent Republican party-switcher in the news the past couple of days.

But former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee -- during an appearance on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" to discuss Specter's switch to the Democratic Party -- managed to sow some confusion about whether he has officially entered the 2010 race for governor of Rhode Island as an independent.

Chafee, in his national TV appearance Tuesday night, seemed to confirm his plans to stage that bid, just three weeks after unveiling an exploratory committee.

"I'm running as an independent here in Rhode Island" he told Maddow. "Rhode Island has a strong streak of independence. And it's the largest voting bloc, actually, our unaffiliated voters in Rhode Island. So, I decided to run as an independent."

However, following local press reports of an official candidacy announcement, Chafee issued a statement modifying that claim.

"My comments last evening...were based on the positive feedback I have received thus far in my exploratory campaign," he said. "My intentions are to run for governor. Sen. Specter's announcement to leave the Republican Party only served to reinforce that my decision to leave the party in 2007 was the right one."
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