Rhode Island Dems in uproar as party seeks to oust three progressive women

NBC News

At the same time, the party is standing by a lawmaker who has been charged with sexual assault and perjury. It also backed a former lawmaker who has been arrested several times.

by Alex Seitz-Wald / Jul.03.2018 / 3:15 PM ET / Updated Jul.03.2018 / 5:18 PM ET

WASHINGTON — As it tries to fend off a progressive insurgency, the Democratic Party in one of the bluest states in the country is facing open revolt after endorsing candidates — including a Trump-voting former Republican — in primaries against three progressive women up for re-election this year.

Progressives across the country say they're fighting an out-of-touch party establishment, but nowhere are the battle lines more clearly drawn than Rhode Island, where the state is run largely by Democrats who oppose abortion rights and get "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association.

The long-simmering fight burst into the open this week after the Rhode Island Democratic Party released its slate of endorsements, which critics say is aimed at punishing three women who ousted old-guard incumbents two years ago.

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