Lincoln Chafee, the former governor and U.S. senator from Rhode Island, announced Thursday that he has formed an exploratory committee to consider a run as the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.
His launch was made on his website, Chafee2016.com.
Chafee will spend the next few months in New Hampshire, Iowa and other key battleground states, according to a statement issued Thursday morning.
"Throughout my career, I exercised good judgment on a wide range of high-pressure decisions, decisions that require level-headedness and careful foresight," Chafee said. "Often these decisions came in the face of political adversity. During the next weeks and months I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts about the future of our great country."
Chafee served in the U.S. Senate as a Republican from 1999 until 2007. That same year, he left the Republican Party and became an independent. He switched his affiliation to Democratic in 2013.
He served as governor until 2014. He did not seek re-election.