Chafee Just 4th Rhode Island Governor Since 1790 to Pass On 2nd Term

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  Facing a tough reelection bid in 2014, Lincoln Chafee throws up the white flag - a historical rarity among 1st term Rhode Island governors
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  • 2. CHAFEE JUST 4TH RHODE ISLAND GOVERNOR SINCE 1790 TO PASS ON 2ND TERM A Smart Politics review of Rhode Island gubernatorial election results finds that Chafee has become just the fourth governor who did not run for a second term out of the five-dozen elected into office since statehood in 1790.
  • 3. 1. BYRON DIMAN (Law and Order) The former state representative and Lieutenant Governor defeated Democratic incumbent Charles Jackson by less than 100 votes in the Election of 1846, but fell just shy of the required majority. However, the General Assembly nonetheless selected Diman as governor of the Ocean State. Although Diman chose not to run for a second term in 1847 he did later serve again in the legislature - this time in the Rhode Island Senate.
  • 4. 2. ROYAL TAFT (REPUBLICAN) Taft won the Election of 1888 by ousting Democratic incumbent Governor John Davis by 8.0 points. However, Taft declined nomination for a second term in 1889. (During that era of Rhode Island politics, governors were elected to one-year terms.)
  • 5. 3. WILLIAM FLYNN (DEMOCRAT) Flynn was narrowly elected to a two-year term in 1922 by 4.6 points over Republican Harold Gross. Flynn chose to run for the U.S. Senate in 1924 instead, but lost both the special and general elections for the seat that November.
  • 6. 4. LINCOLN CHAFEE (INDEPENDENT / DEMOCRAT) Chafee, who eked out a 2.5-point victory over Republican John Robitaille in 2010 with just 36.1 percent of the vote as an independent, had perhaps hoped to bolster his reelection chances by switching his party affiliation to Democrat earlier this year. However, beset by low approval ratings and iffy reelection odds, Chafee has instead opted to sit out of the 2014 race and not run for a second term.
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