Chafee Indy Bid Helps GOP in RI Governor's Race

It’s a shame the Republicans can’t win in the Northeast, isn’t it? If you look to New England, Republicans only hold the governorships in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont, two Senate seats in Maine, and one in New Hampshire. Looking ahead to 2010, Republicans seem as likely to add to that toehold as they are to lose ground – especially if Senator Dodd is the Democratic nominee in Connecticut. If you widen the net slightly, Republicans are poised to field strong candidates in Senate and gubernatorial races in New York and Pennsylvania, and to pick off the governorship in New Jersey this year.

And now former liberal Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee is announcing an independent bid for the governorship of Rhode Island:

Former senator Lincoln Chafee is officially throwing his hat into the ring for the 2010 gubernatorial election. His web site, chafeeforgovernor.com, says he is running as an independent candidate, and Tuesday night, he told a national television audience on the “Rachel Maddow Show” he will make a run for the office.

Right now several Democrats are considering gubernatorial runs as well. They include the state’s Treasurer and Lieutenant Governor. At least as of now, only one serious Republican candidate has emerged: the Deputy Minority Leader of the Rhode Island State House, Joe Trillo. Needless to say, Republicans can only benefit from a three-way race with two liberal candidates, and one that features a divisive Democratic primary.

All in all, GOP prospects are pretty good in a region where we can’t compete.