A farrier jumped into the fray as a candidate for the White House.
Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who studied farriery at Montana State University in Bozeman and spent 7 years working at harness racetracks in the U.S. and Canada, announced Wednesday that he is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination.
Chafee, 62, made the announcement while delivering a foreign policy speech during an issues forum at George Mason University in Arlington, Va.
Chafee spent most of his political life as a Republican. He kicked off his career as a delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention in 1985. A year later he won a seat on the Warwick, R.I., City Council, where he served until becoming mayor in 1992. After his father Sen. John H. Chafee died in 1999, Gov. Lincoln Almond appointed Chafee to his father’s Senate seat and was elected to a full term in 2000.
Chafee made headlines in 2002 when he became the only Republican senator to vote against U.S. military involvement in Iraq.
“Considering the premise for invading Iraq was based on falsehoods and considering the ramifications we live with now from that mistake,” Chafee told CNN in an April interview, “I would argue that anybody who voted for the Iraq War should not be president and certainly should not be leading the Democratic Party.”
The comment was a reference to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, who voted to authorize the Iraq War while serving as the junior senator from New York.
Chafee served one term in the Senate before losing to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006.
He left the Republican Party in 2007 to become an independent and supported President Barack Obama in both his campaigns.
Chafee made history in 2010 when became the first independent to be elected governor of Rhode Island in more than 150 years. He joined the Democratic Party in 2013 and opted against seeking re-election in 2014 amid low approval ratings. However, Chafee told CNN in May that his decision was because he wanted to run for president.
Chafee is the fourth major politician to chase the Democratic nomination for president, joining Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
On the Republican side, the field is much more crowded. Candidates who are officially running for the nomination are Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former New York Gov. George Pataki and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.