Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) “announced Wednesday that he will not seek reelection next year.” Chafee “has been plagued by low job-approval numbers and what he described Wednesday as ‘irrational negativity’ around his stances on issues big and small, from drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants to what he called the State House Christmas tree.”
Chafee: “We have our challenges in Rhode Island and I want to devote all my time and energy to those challenges.” Asked if he thought he would’ve won a second term, Chafee said: “I do. … But the main thing is that you can’t be doing two jobs well at the same time, especially with the situation we have here in Rhode Island … when you are looking at an election, sometimes you make compromises that might not be made if you weren’t involved in a campaign. … I think if you were going to look up ‘principled leader’ in the dictionary, you’d see a picture of Linc Chafee.”
Brown University professor Wendy Schiller: “I think he realized he couldn’t win and I think he’d rather spend the next year and half doing some good for the state than waging a losing battle.” (Providence Journal)
DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY BATTLE: Chafee’s decision leaves a likely two-way Democratic primary battle between General Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D) and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras (D). Neither has officially launched a campaign yet, but both Democrats have been preparing for gubernatorial runs behind the scenes. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (R) is expected to launch a bid for the GOP nomination, while Moderate Party founder Ken Block is the only candidate officially in the race. (WPRI-TV)
Taveras probably stands to benefit most from Chafee’s exit. The state’s public employee unions, some of whom backed Chafee’s independent bid in 2010, will likely unite behind the Providence mayor. Raimondo, who will start the race with a huge fundraising edge, alienated the unions with her landmark pension reforms, and the labor movement will spend heavily in an attempt to block her path to the nomination.
— Kevin Brennan
What We're Following See More »
"North Korea says it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said the suspension of nuclear and ICBM tests went into effect Saturday." The announcement comes shortly before Kim Jong Un "is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a border truce village for a rare summit aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang."
"Republican megadonor Foster Friess has told party leaders in Wyoming that he plans to run for governor," and is expected to make an announcement this afternoon. Friess has donated "millions of dollars to Republican candidates and causes over the last decade, according to federal campaign finance records," including over "$1.7 million to boost Santorum's [presidential] campaign" in 2016. Gov. Matt Mead (R) is term-limited, and "a handful of Republicans are running in an open primary to succeed him in one of the reddest states in the country."
Four Palestinian protestors have been killed by Israeli fire near the Gaza-Israel border, bringing the death toll to 38, in what marks the "fourth consecutive week of Gaza's March of Return mass protests." The marches are part of a "month-and-a-half-long protest organized by Hamas near the border fence," which organizers have said will not stop before May 15. The marches are intended to emulate anti-apartheid protests in South Africa, and to commemorate the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in 1948, during the establishment of the State of Israel.
"Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe is looking to sue for defamation, wrongful termination and other possible civil claims, his lawyer told reporters Friday." McCabe's attorney Michael Bromwich said that his team "hasn't managed to find any witnesses to corroborate McCabe's version of the story," although they have not had enough time to do so. "McCabe’s lawyers are also seeking ways to release the emails between McCabe and Comey, which would offer insight into their communication about the leaks to the Wall Street Journal."
"The Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday against the Russian government, the Trump campaign and the WikiLeaks organization alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump. The complaint, filed in federal district court in Manhattan, alleges that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump by hacking the computer networks of the Democratic Party and disseminating stolen material found there." The DNC is seeking "millions of dollars in compensation to offset damage it claims the party suffered from the hacks," and is arguing the cyberattack" undermined its ability to communicate with voters, collect donations and operate effectively as its employees faced personal harassment and, in some cases, death threats."