Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) is set to announce his candidacy for governor of “the ocean state” next month .

Chafee, who established an exploratory committee to run for governor in April, will make his bid official Monday, Jan. 4, according to reports.

"Over the last 25 years, while serving in leadership positions at the local and national level, Lincoln Chafee has forged a path of independence," Chafee's campaign told the Providence Journal. "In his campaign to become governor of Rhode Island, he aims to bring his unquestioned integrity, proven record of bringing people together, and positive vision to the State House, charting a New Way Forward for Rhode Island.''

A centrist Republican in the Senate, Chafee was defeated in his 2006 reelection bid by now-Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D), and only after a bruising primary battle against conservative Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey.

After leaving the Senate, Chafee cut his affiliation with the GOP to become an independent. In 2008, he endorsed Barack Obama for president.