KEY POINTS

  • Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee will seek the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination
  • Chafee started public life as a Republican U.S. senator but later switched to run for governor of Rhode Island
  • The Libertarian Party will hold its nominating convention in May 2020.

Ex-Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has officially filed to run for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination.

Alongside filing campaign documents with the Federal Election Commission, Chafee unveiled a website, LincolnForLiberty.com, where he touts the many titles he's held over his career in public life. "Mayor. Governor. Senator," the website reads. It also features the slogan, "Thirty Years, Zero Scandals."

The Libertarian bid marks the fourth time Chafee has switched parties during his career. From 1999 to 2007, he served as a Republican senator from Rhode Island, taking the seat from his father John Chafee, who died. After being defeated in the 2006 general election, Chafee became an independent, and was elected governor of Rhode Island. He served in that post through 2013.

That same year, Chafee changed his party affiliation again and became a Democrat. He ran in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, but dropped out before any votes were cast. 

Chafee has yet to outline a campaign platform, but the slogans on his website indicate he will target both America's overseas involvement as well as its budget deficits. "No More Wars," it says. "No More Reckless Spending."

The Libertarian Party is a minor party that holds no federal offices in the United States, but which has in recent years successfully recruited statewide officeholders to run on its presidential ticket. In 2016, former Arizona Gov. Gary Johnson served as the party's presidential nominee, and earned nearly 4.5 million votes.

The party plans to hold its nominating convention in May 2020 in Austin, Texas. Other declared candidates for the nomination include New Hampshire State Rep. Max Abramson, who serves as a Libertarian lawmaker in the state.