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The Rhode Island Democratic Party endorsed a candidate who appears to have once been a vocal supporter of Donald Trump and alt-right figures, rather than backing the progressive incumbent, Slate reported Monday.

Challenger Michael Earnheart describes himself on his Facebook page as a “moderate” and responded to questions about his political positions with statements of support for the “Second Amendment” and a promise to “defend against legislation that attempts to stop or interfere with lawful gun ownership,” Slate found.

More troublingly, Earnheart wrote on Twitter that undocumented immigrants are “self-entitled lawbreakers and thieves,” in response to a tweet criticizing the Trump administration’s child-separation policy. An archived version of Earnheart’s Twitter page also features retweets of posts by Roseanne Barr, Donald Trump Jr. and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich. Earnheart also made Islamophobic comments over a retweet of a post by alt-right figure Gavin McInnes about “Muslim pedophiles.”

Public records show that a Michael Earnheart, of the same age and location, registered as a Republican in 2014 and voted as one in the 2016 election.

Incumbent state Rep. Moira Jayne Walsh, known for her support of raising the minimum wage and marijuana legalization, won a seat in the Rhode Island House in 2016. She received backlash in March after sharing in a radio interview that there was an “insane amount of drinking” among legislators at the statehouse.

WOW: Joe McNamara wrote in an endorsement for a Pro-Trump Democrat to be State Representative. Must have been really upset that @RepMoira_Jayne talked about what’s really in those file cabinets at the State House #RIAnimalHouse pic.twitter.com/fz0O8rzxWc— Brandon S. Bell (@RIGOPChairman) July 2, 2018

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at

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