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Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee speaking Wednesday at Humphrey School

A former U.S. senator, Chafee was elected governor as a Republican in 2010 but changed parties and isn’t running for re-election this year.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee will speak Wednesday at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

He’d been elected as a Republican, but supported President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Last year, he changed parties and then announced he would not run for re-election this year. 

 He cited “irrational negativity” in making his decision not to run, after being pilloried for  political controversies ranging from his stances on illegal immigration to what to name the State House Christmas tree.

Chafee’s speech at 5 p.m. is free; reservations can be made online.

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Organizers say his speech will “reflect on lessons learned in public service to emphasize the role of economic justice and equality in realizing a contemporary vision of civil rights for all Americans.”