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Lincoln Chafee quits presidential race

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee pulled out of the 2016 presidential race after failing to gain any traction in the Democratic primary field.

Chafee announced his plans at a Democratic women’s event in Washington Friday morning. “As you know I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace.  But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today,” he said.

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Chafee is the second Democrat to drop out of the 2016 field this week; former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb made a similar announcement Tuesday. And on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden revealed that he would forgo a much-anticipated presidential bid.

That leaves just three candidates in the Democratic presidential field: Front-runner Hillary Clinton, insurgent Bernie Sanders, and challenger Martin O’Malley. The three will appear back-to-back this Saturday in Iowa at the state Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner.

Chafee was a Republican for most of his political life who filled the Senate seat from Rhode Island vacated by his late father, John Chafee, and then went on to serve as governor. He faced questions from Democrats about his party affiliation, insisting in a Democratic debate last week that he was a “block of granite” on the issues and that it was the Republican Party that moved, not him. 

Chafee predicated his campaign on his vote against the Iraq War and used his final speech as a presidential candidate to call on the U.S. to pursue more peaceful foreign policies.

The wealthy New Englander was the source of most of his campaign’s money, and could have theoretically continued to bankroll his campaign.  He raised eyebrows by declaring a desire to move to the metric system in his speech announcing his run.