“Berniecrats” challenge Rhode Island’s Democratic incumbents

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Bernie Sanders movement is waning in the Democratic presidential race but trickling into Rhode Island state politics as a slate of Sanders-inspired liberals is running to unseat incumbent Democrats in the General Assembly.

Wednesday ends the three-day period when Rhode Islanders can declare their candidacy ahead of the fall elections.

The group Rhode Island Progressive Democrats is so far endorsing 18 people seeking legislative seats; 12 for seats already held by Democrats. Their aim is to upend the state’s Democratic leadership, which they consider too conservative on issues ranging from abortion to guns. Some of their candidates were involved in the Sanders campaign. Other Sanders-inspired newcomers are running without the group’s endorsement.

Sanders beat Hillary Clinton by nearly 12 percentage points in the state’s April 26 primary.

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