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    Lincoln Chafee says he will not run for US Senate in Rhode Island

    Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced Tuesday that he will not run for his former US Senate seat.
    AP Photo/John Locher, File
    Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced Tuesday that he will not run for his former US Senate seat.

    Lincoln Chafee announced Tuesday he will not run for his former US Senate seat in Rhode Island, which would have created one of the most high-profile Democratic primaries in the country.

    Just a few weeks ago Chafee said there was a “90 percent” chance that he would challenge two-term Democratic incumbent Sheldon Whitehouse. But since then, sympathetic statements Chafee has made toward Russia has spurred negative local press, and an internal Whitehouse poll that showed Chafee losing a primary by 58 points.

    “Two of my favorite sayings are, ‘Fortune favors the bold’ and ‘Discretion is the better part of valor.’ The latter is true as to my plans. I will not be seeking elective office in 2018,” said Chafee in a statement.

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    Whitehouse defeated Chafee in 2006 for the Senate seat. Back then, Chafee was a Republican.

    James Pindell can be reached at james.pindell@globe.com