As many Republicans in Massachusetts work to keep a safe distance from President Donald Trump this election season, one candidate from outside the party is going the other way, fighting to be recognized as a standard-bearer for the president’s anti-establishment populism as he makes a long-shot bid for U.S. Senate.

Shiva Ayyadurai, a former researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and entrepreneur who claims to have invented email as a teenager, is running a scorched-earth campaign in which he casts himself as a working man’s hero – despite his advanced degrees and business acumen – raging against what he sees as a conspiracy between the Republican and Democratic parties in Massachusetts to keep Sen. Elizabeth Warren in power. According to this narrative, for which Ayyadurai provides only anecdotal evidence, the Republican candidate in the race, state Rep. Geoff Diehl of Whitman, is a pawn of both parties whose only purpose in the race is to take away votes from Ayyadurai, the real “Trumper” in the race.

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