Former Rhode Island Governor — and U.S. Senator — Lincoln D. Chafee and his wife, Stephanie, are starting to put down roots in the state of Wyoming.
The Teton County town clerk has confirmed that former First Lady Stephanie Chafee registered to vote — and voted in the 2018 primary and general elections in Wyoming — from an address in Teton Village, not far from Jackson Hole, and that their son, Caleb Chafee, is also a registered Wyoming voter.
In an exchange of emails on Monday, Chafee — who is still registered to vote in Warwick — explained where things stand in his family’s life when, as he put it, he returned from “shoeing some broncos (kidding).”
“Lately,″ he wrote, “we are spending more and more time out here in Teton County. Reflective of that, Stephanie has declared residency here and I am contemplating following suit.
“This is a big beautiful state with only about 560,000 people. The motto here is Equal Rights and Wyoming in 1869 was the first state to grant women voting rights.”
“I have not encountered the former Vice,″ he said of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who reportedly has a home not far away. Chafee pilloried Cheney in his own book about what it was like to be a moderate Republican in the U.S. Senate in the Bush-Cheney years, “Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President.”
Chafee’s family has had deep roots in Rhode Island.
His father — the late John H. Chafee — was also a former Rhode Island governor and U.S. Senator. Lincoln Chafee was the mayor of Warwick before his father’s death led to his November 1999 appointment by then-Governor Lincoln Almond — and subsequent election — to the U.S. Senate.
Four years after losing his 2006 GOP bid for reelection to the Senate, Chafee ran for governor of Rhode Island as an independent, won, and became a Democrat mid-term. He did not seek reelection in 2014.
He waged a short-lived campaign for president. He also toyed with the idea of running again, in 2018, for governor, but ultimately decided against that idea.
Stephanie Chafee, a one-time nurse who established her own reputation as a philanthropist dedicated to health care-related causes, grew up in a wealthy family on Providence’s East Side. Her late father, Murray S. Danforth, was a vice president and treasurer of the Rhode Island School of Design, the school her family founded in 1877, and her family was among the past owners of The Providence Journal.
In one of his emails Monday about his new life in Wyoming, Chafee said: “We bought the property in 2016. Stephanie just loves all the wildlife and western beauty and made her decision to reside and vote in Wyoming based on the time spent here.”
“Of course, I enjoy returning to an area in which I made a good living after college,″ he said of his early career, as a blacksmith.
Asked how their grown son — now registered to vote from an address in Jackson, Wyoming — is doing, Chafee said; “Caleb is thriving.”