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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

Lincoln Chafee, a former governor and senator from Rhode Island, says he's exploring a run for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

On a new web site, Chafee, who served as an independent as governor and a Republican in the United States Senate, says he's concerned about "international instability, especially in the Middle East and north Africa."

"Throughout my career, I exercised good judgment on a wide range of high-pressure decisions, decisions that require level-headedness and careful foresight," he added. "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."

"Campaigns are the time for debates about the vision of our future and for voters to assess the character and experience of those offering ideas," he says in a web video.

Chafee became a Democrat in 2013, when he faced a difficult path to re-election as governor amid low approval ratings. He later announced that he was dropping out of the gubernatorial race.

- Carrie Dann