Lincoln Chafee was first elected to office in 1985 as a delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention. He is the only candidate for Governor with experience in municipal government, having served a total of thirteen years in elected office in Warwick, Rhode Island's second largest city, first as a member of the City Council (1987-91) and then four terms as Mayor (1993-99).
|As Mayor from 1993-99, Linc Chafee sat in the corner office at Warwick City Hall.|
|Mayor Lincoln Chafee and Senator John Chafee, both victorious candidates on election night, 1994.|
Mayor Of Warwick
Elected Mayor of Warwick in 1992, Lincoln Chafee forged a working majority with a Democratic city council to control city spending, settle a longstanding labor dispute with Warwick teachers, and create a new T.F. Green Airport master plan for a new modern commuter rail station and related redevelopment.
Mayor Chafee was a tough financial manager, ending seven consecutive years with a budget surplus. Maintaining an A-1 bond rating, he saved taxpayers millions in interest. At the same time, he was able to invest over $11 million in Warwick schools, implement a $130 million sewer extension program to clean up Greenwich Bay, upgrade the city's recycling program, and purchase over 130 acres of open space.
Lincoln Chafee was re-elected mayor in 1994, 1996 and 1998, when he won a majority in every ward of the city.
|Senator Chafee testifying successfully for increased jobs for Naval Station Newport, Base Reduction and Closure Commission hearing, Boston, July 2005.|
United States Senator
Lincoln Chafee is the only candidate for Governor who has served in the United States Congress.
He was appointed to the Senate in 1999 after the death of his father, Senator John H. Chafee, and elected in 2000 to a term that ended in 2006.
Lincoln Chafee's Senate service is distinguished by his courageous vote against authorizing the Iraq War. He was the lone Republican Senator to oppose the war, which has now cost the United States $745 billion and the lives of over 4,000 soldiers, including several Rhode Islanders.
Senator Chafee was also a skilled leader in bringing Democrats and Republicans together to win important congressional battles. He was a member of the "Gang of 14," which defeated extremists trying to shut down Congress over judicial appointees. He authored the most important environmental law in the past decade, the Brownfields Act, which has stimulated private investment in urban centers throughout the United States.
Lincoln Chafee is a fiscal conservative. As Senator, he fought Congress and President Bush's squandering the United States surplus:
Senator Chafee also fought to ensure that all Americans receive equal protection under the law. He believes that a just government should serve the interests of all of its citizens, treating them equally and ensuring they are granted basic human rights.
- He voted against the massive Bush-Cheney $1.3 trillion tax cut for wealthiest Americans
- The nonpartisan Concord Coalition, one of the nation's chief government spending watchdog groups, named him the Senate's most fiscally responsible member
- He voted against huge farm subsidies favoring agribusinesses
- He voted against the $800 billion prescription drug benefit plan, demanding action first on preventing Medicare abuse
Linc Chafee's outstanding Senate record was endorsed by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Concord Coalition, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, NARAL, and the Human Rights Campaign.
|Linc and Mayor Scott Avedisian celebrate
the retirement of Barbara Caniglia (center).
Delivering For Rhode Island
As a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Chafee delivered critical funding for Rhode Island's roads, bridges, highways rail system, and bikeways.
His skillful negotiations delivered Rhode Island $2.21 for every $1 our state contributed in federal gas taxes. Projects funded include:
Senator Chafee's Brownfields legislation enabled a $6 million clean up and redevelopment at the former Louttit Laundry site in Providence's West End, and funding for clean up and redevelopment at Johnson and Wales University's Harborside Campus.
- Providence: $12 million for the I-195 relocation project, enabling new investment downtown
- Warwick/T.F. Green Airport: $280 million for this important development as Mayor and Senator
- Removal of the old Jamestown Bridge: $15.5 million
- Development of the Blackstone River Bikeway between Providence and Woonsocket: $10.5 million
- RIPTA: $2.5 million for 12 new fixed-route buses
- Warren Bridge, connecting Barrington and Warren: $11 million
- Apponaug Bypass in Warwick: $22 million
|Mayor Lincoln Chafee press conference, Warwick City Hall, January, 1995.|
Bridging The Partisan Divide
Lincoln Chafee's independence, unquestioned integrity, and proven record of bringing people together has earned him the respect of leaders from both political parties.
[Sen. Chafee] understands that reaching across the aisle and working together more often than not results in better decisions and better, longer lasting policy solutions."
--Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts
"Senator Chafee is an individual both with character and sincere devotion to our State and Nation, an honest, decent man who is always respectful, thoughtful, and fair-minded. He is someone with whom we are all proud to have served. He is someone in this House respected for his integrity and for his determination."
--Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island
"[Sen. Chafee] votes his conviction and his conscience, not just a party line. Senator Chafee's legacy will be defined by his leadership on environmental protection and fiscal responsibility. On both, he has had a forward-looking approach, grounded in common sense, for which our grandchildren will be grateful."
--Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan
"Senator Chafee was never afraid to put his beliefs ahead of party pressure. He has voted to support stem cell research and a responsible exit strategy in Iraq; and his strong environmental record, including opposition to oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve, has earned him the endorsement of prominent conservationist groups."
--Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut
"Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island has been an independent voice for his State and the issues he believes in, regardless of partisan consideration."
--Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana
"Senator Lincoln Chafee is a great man, a loyal Rhode Islander, and a great American."
--Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah
"Senator Lincoln Chafee came from a political tradition I am proud to share--that of the New England moderate. This tradition stands for a strong defense of freedom and for fiscal responsibility, for government that is unobtrusive in people's lives when it can be, yet compassionate and involved when it must be."
--Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine
"Lincoln Chafee has also been a strong voice for fiscal discipline. He has repeatedly opposed reckless tax cuts and supported pay-as-you-go budget rules to bring the budget back into balance. The bipartisan Concord Coalition has twice recognized him for his fiscal responsibility."
--Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan
Linc Chafee is a tested leader of unquestioned integrity and a strong independent voice. As Governor, he will work hard to create new jobs, rebuild our economy, solve our chronic budget problems, end corruption, and forge a new way forward for Rhode Island.