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Candidate Chafee Quits US Democratic Race

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee says he will no longer seeks the presidential nomination while speaking at the Democratic National Committee 22nd Annual Women's Leadership Forum National Issues Conference in Washington, Oct. 23, 2015.

Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee is dropping out of the U.S. presidential race for the Democratic Party's nomination in the 2016 election.

Chafee, a former Republican who switched his allegiance to the Democratic Party, was a long shot to win the nomination. He is the second presidential hopeful to quit the Democratic race this week, after former Virginia Senator Jim Webb.

Chafee, 62, announced his decision Friday at the Democratic National Committee's annual Women's Leadership Forum in Washington.

3 contenders left

His departure leaves three Democratic contenders for the nomination to succeed President Barack Obama: frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.

Chafee, who took part in a nationally televised debate among Democratic candidates earlier this month, was ranked near the bottom of most national opinion surveys. His campaign was noted primarily for his call for the United States to embrace the metric system of measurement.

Chafee was named to take over his late father's seat in the U.S. Senate in 1999, and he won election as a Republican in 2000. He left the Senate after one term and then ran and won election as an independent to be governor of Rhode Island, the smallest of the 50 U.S. states.