Chafee becomes 1st independent to win RI gov seat

The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 2, 2010; 11:45 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Former U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) has become the first independent elected Rhode Island governor.

Chafee formed a broad coalition of liberal Democrats, moderate Republicans, unions and environmentalists.

The former Republican defeated Democratic General Treasurer Frank Caprio, Republican John Robitaille (ROH'-bih-teye) and Moderate Party founder Ken Block on Tuesday to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Don Carcieri (kuh-CHEER'-ee).

Chief rival Caprio was hurt by his comment late in the campaign that President Barack Obama could "really shove it" for not endorsing him.

Chafee is a social liberal who supports legalizing same-sex marriage and environmental causes. He also considers himself a fiscal conservative, although he has proposed a new 1 percent sales tax on items that are now exempt from the existing 7 percent sales tax.

The Chafee family tree includes several governors, including Chafee's father, the late U.S. Sen. John Chafee.

© 2010 The Associated Press