CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. — Former Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Robert Flanders has announced he is running for U.S. Senate as a Republican for the seat currently held by Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.

Flanders kicked off his bid Thursday in Central Falls.

State Rep. Bobby Nardolillo is also seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Whitehouse, who is seeking a third term in the Senate.

The 68-year-old Flanders oversaw impoverished Central Falls through bankruptcy after he was appointed the city’s receiver by then-Gov. Lincoln Chafee in 2011.

Flanders went after Whitehouse, calling him “silver spoon Sheldon” and pompous, and criticizing the Democrat’s focus on climate change. The state Democratic Party criticized Flanders’ support of Republican President Donald Trump.

Flanders said he voted for Trump, but added he would not reflexively back him.