Watch CBSN Live

Lincoln Chafee Enters Rhode Island Gov's Race

Former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee is officially entering the Rhode Island governor's race as an independent candidate, according to reports.

Chafee will announce his candidacy on Jan. 4, the Providence Journal reports.

The moderate politician lost his Senate seat in 2006 to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, after narrowly overcoming a primary challenge. He left the Republican party the following year.

In April of this year, Chafee formed an exploratory committee for a potential gubernatorial run.

His campaign issued a statement to the Providence Journal saying, "Over the last 25 years, while serving in leadership positions at the local and national level, Lincoln Chafee has forged a path of independence. In his campaign to become Governor of Rhode Island, he aims to bring his unquestioned integrity, proven record of bringing people together, and positive vision to the State House, charting a New Way Forward for Rhode Island."

Two Democrats, Attorney General Patrick Lynch and General Treasurer Frank Caprio, are also vying to replace Gov. Don Carcieri in the 2010 election, the Associated Press reports. Businessman Rory Smith, who was running as a Republican, withdrew from the race earlier this month.

View CBS News In