Independent RI governor considers joining Dems

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Associated Press

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 9 at 12:04 AM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The most well-worn political parlor game in Rhode Island these days surrounds Republican-turned-independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) and whether he intends to switch to the Democratic Party before next year's gubernatorial election.

Chafee is aligned with Democrats on many social issues, such as legalizing gay marriage. He spoke at the Democratic National Convention, and the head of the Democratic Governors Association, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, this week invited Chafee to join the party.

Chafee has said he's considering it, but won't give a timetable.

But Chafee has low approval ratings, and state Democrats have some other strong candidates considering runs for governor.

The former head of the state Democratic Party says Chafee's probably better off staying independent in a three-way race, so he could win with just over one third of the vote.

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