Chafee backs Cicilline; calls him “hardworking and honest”
The governor’s office provided this statement explaining the governor’s backing:
Congressman Cicilline is hardworking and honest and has a proven track record of supporting the social policies and programs that I voted for as a U.S. Senator. Returning Congressman Cicilline to Washington will help to ensure that my former political party, which has abandoned fiscal responsibility and is focused too closely on social issues, does not solidify its power.
Chafee, part of a prominent Republican family in Rhode Island, left the GOP after losing his Senate seat in 2006 to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.
Chafee had inherited the seat from his father, John H. Chafee, an icon of Republican moderation who died in 1999. Lincoln Chafee said he departed the GOP since it had moved too far to the right, and he became an independent.
Chafee’s support for Cicilline was first reported by Ted Nesi, who says the governor also attended a fundraiser for the congressman last night.
Cicilline is being opposed by Republican Brendan Doherty. Democrat Anthony Gemma is expected to announce a primary challenge to Cicilline on April 15.