Former U.S. Rep. Claudine Schneider and four other ex-GOP elected officials on Tuesday put their support behind Democrat Seth Magaziner in the fight for an open seat in Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District.

“The Republican Party of today is not the one that inspired me to run and represent the Second Congressional District in 1980,” Schneider, who now lives in Colorado, wrote in a letter read during a news conference at Magaziner’s campaign office in Warwick. “It is now the party of insurrectionist Donald Trump. … And it is directly at odds with the values of Rhode Islanders.”

Magaziner faces Republican Allan Fung in November for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, a Democrat first elected in 2000.

The theme of Magaziner’s news conference is that Fung, the former mayor of Cranston, hasn’t stood up to Donald Trump and the threat posed to democracy by denying the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Former GOP state Sen. Dawson Hodgson of North Kingstown, who said he left the Republican Party in 2016 and is now unaffiliated, said it is not credible to accept Fung’s view that he could be a moderating influence in Congress.

“Because we have seen moderate Republicans go to Congress, and they just go along,” Hodgson said. “And if you are unwilling to stand up to Trumpism and Trumpery and all of the violations of our constitutional and public norms, why should we believe that you will develop your stiff spine to stand up for those values in Congress?”

Hodgson noted that Fung has said he would support Kevin McCarthy to be the next U.S. House speaker if Republicans win the House majority in November, and that McCarthy voted against certifying the results of the 2020 election.

In a statement, Fung spokesman Steven Paiva accused Magaziner of trying to change the subject.

“Seth is so desperate to talk about anything other than the failed Biden, Pelosi, Magaziner agenda that he is now resorting to asking so-called ‘extreme MAGA supporters’ and big oil consultants to save his campaign,” Paiva said. “Hypocrisy aside, Seth is so obsessed with the past that he pays no concern to the disastrous state of our economy today.”

Fung was well-liked during his 12 years as mayor of Cranston, although he lost two races for governor, in 2014 and 2018. He has said he would fight for middle class families if elected to succeed Langevin, and that he would seek to bring people together. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week endorsed Fung, and D.C. Republicans have directed $1 million in support for his campaign.

Also offering their support for Magaziner: former state Rep. Robert “Bobby” Nardillo of Coventry, who said he is now unaffiliated (although he is listed as a Democrat in a state record); Cranston City Councilor Robert Ferri, a Republican-turned-Democrat; and Vin Marzullo, a one-time GOP candidate for governor who said he has most recently voted for Democrats.

Ian Donnis can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @IanDon and sign up for email delivery of his weekly RI politics newsletter.