PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Former Democratic presidential candidate and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee stunned just about everyone when he announced he would likely mount a Democratic primary contest against U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
But Chafee is well-known for doing the unexpected, and he’s confident he can win, despite a tough governorship and the beating he took when he ran an ill-fated presidential campaign.
If he gets into the race, political observers say it will set up a fascinating rematch of the 2006 general election, when Whitehouse unseated a then-Republican Chafee.
And in the small world of Rhode Island politics, there’s another interesting twist: The two families have been tied for generations. Chafee’s late father, John, a Republican governor and senator, roomed with Whitehouse’s father at Yale, and the men’s sons are friends.