A far-left Democrat who had the backing of groups allied with Bernie Sanders fell decisively in Wednesday’s Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial primary, capping a bitter slugfest and marking the latest in a series of setbacks for fringe progressive groups seeking to take their views into the mainstream.
Incumbent Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo, 47, easily brushed off an insurgent challenge from former secretary of state Matt Brown, 48, who refused to take money from corporate PACs and heavily courted Sanders voters in the state during the campaign. Raimondo was leading Brown by more than 20 percentage points Wednesday night, 56 to 34 percent, with almost all precincts reporting.
Raimondo’s win sets up a rematch with pro-Trump Republican mayor Allan Fung, who came in just 4.5 points behind Raimondo in a three-way race in 2014.
Brown was backed by Justice Democrats, the political action committee started by organizers of Bernie Sanders’ failed 2016 presidential campaign, which also had backed come-from-behind candidates including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts.
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