Potential Democratic presidential candidate former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) delivers remarks at the South Carolina Democratic Party state convention April 25, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Chafee: look at me, I'm scandal-free
00:48 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

Lincoln Chafee will announce he is running for president next month, according to his spokeswoman Debbie Rich.

The former Rhode Island governor and senator, who became a Democrat in 2013, will make the announcement during a previously scheduled speech at George Mason Center for Politics & Foreign Relations in Arlington, Virginia on June 3.

Chafee’s announcement was first reported by Politico.

Chafee has spent most of his life as a Republican. He was nominated to his late father’s Senate seat in 1999 and then was elected as a Republican in 2000. He served only one term, losing to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006, but then successfully ran for governor of Rhode Island as an independent.

Facing long odds and slumping in the polls, Chafee decided not to run for reelection in 2014. He told CNN last month that he made that decision because he wanted to run for president.

Chafee announced he was looking into a presidential run in April. In an interview with CNN at the time, the former governor took on Hillary Clinton, the race’s frontrunner.

“Considering the premise for invading Iraq was based on falsehoods and considering the ramifications we live with now from that mistake, I would argue that anybody who voted for the Iraq War should not be president and certainly should not be leading the Democratic Party,” he said.

Clinton voted to authorize the Iraq War in 2002, and Chafee has repeatedly said he will make that decision a focal point of his campaign.

Chafee, though, is aware of his long odds. He has registered in only a handful of polls and is looking up at not only Clinton, but also Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who will announce his candidacy on Saturday.

When asked in April if he would bet on himself winning the race, he demurred.

“I can’t,” Chafee said before catching himself. “I am in it to win. I mean, I care about these issues and I think they should be discussed within the Democratic Party. That is the first goal.”

In the same interview, he said that if he decides to get into the race, it will be because he has “the organization in place to continue this into that long road ahead … and I plan not to spend a lot of money, but nonetheless, there has to be some fundraising.”