Democratic Presidential Candidate Profile: Lincoln Chafee

Lincoln ChafeeThe Hill Talk is giving a quick rundown of each Democratic candidate after the party’s first primary debate, held October 13 in Las Vegas.

Here is our profile of former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee.

Quick Facts:

  • Born in Providence, RI in 1963.
  • Graduated from Brown University in 1975.

Political Experience:

  • Mayor of Warwick, RI from 1992-1999.
  • Served as a Republican U.S. Senator from Rhode Island from 1999-2007.
  • Served as Governor of Rhode Island from 2007-2015.
  • Ran for Governor as an independent.
  • Switched to the Democratic Party in 2013.


  • In favor of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Would like to see universal healthcare implemented nationally.


  • In favor of raising the minimum wage.
  • Opposes abolishing the estate-tax.
  • Has argued for the privatization of Social Security.
  • Voted to repeal the Glass-Steagal Act which separated commercial and investment banking since 1933. Has since said that he regrets that decision.

Climate Change:

Social Issues:

  • Has been in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana. Called the legalization in some state’s an “interesting experiment.”
  • Signed a same-sex marriage bill into law in Rhode Island in 2010.

Foreign Policy:

  • Was the only Senate Republican to vote against the Iraq War in 2003.
  • Says that the problems with ISIS stem from the Iraq War.
  • Supports two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

Relevant Scandals:

  • Almost none, it was his main memorable moment from the first Democratic debate.
  • In 1993, as Mayor of Warwick, he spent $350 in taxpayer money on pet frogs and toboggans for his office.

Who will vote for him?

Those who are opposed to Hillary Clinton’s interventionist stance on foreign policy, but are not comfortable enough to vote for someone as far to the left as Bernie Sanders.

Debate video:

On Hillary Clinton’s vote to invade Iraq in 2003