Greg Gianforte Wins Montana Special Election, Despite Assaulting Reporter One Day Earlier

Gianforte was a strong favorite throughout the campaign and that continued even after authorities charged him with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday.

Greg Gianforte was the victor in Thursday's congressional election in Montana.

The sheriff also said he hoped to interview Gianforte and five others who were in the room when the confrontation occurred and expected to discuss the matter on Thursday with the local prosecuting attorney. They bashed him as a tool of liberal Democrats like House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi. He said that Trump had called the media the "enemies of the people", repeatedly verbally abused reporters, and was reckless and irresponsible calling out people's names in large arenas and tweeting attacks about those reporters. More than a third of the state's registered voters had already submitted ballots before it happened, state election officials said, and some Gianforte supporters shrugged off the charges or said they did not believe published accounts.

Gianforte was charged Wednesday evening with misdemeanor assault against Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian. Gianforte would face a maximum $500 fine or 6 months in jail if convicted.

Gootkin said Jacobs' injuries did not meet the legal definition of felony assault.

On Wednesday, Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian, said that he was "body slammed" by Gianforte as he tried to ask a question about the recently released Congressional Budget Office assessment of the impact of the House repeal-and-replace plan for Obamacare. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, "I'm sick and exhausted of this!" Gianforte canceled planned appearances on Fox News and MSNBC, while right wing radio hosts like Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh made light of the incident. "The last guy who came here, you did the same thing". "We love him", said Karen Screnar, a Republican voter who had driven all the way from Helena to support Gianforte. It contends he "aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face and began asking badgering questions" before being asked to leave.

"Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him", Alicia Acuna wrote in an online story.

"I should not have treated that reporter that way and for that I'm sorry Mr". Gianforte must now appear in court by June 7.

Jacobs told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday that he never touched Gianforte.

But after he was declared the victor, Gianforte apologized for the attack. The president's son, Donald Trump Jr., and Vice President Pence also traveled to the state on his behalf.

With the race Republicans, facing a struggle to hold the House in 2018 mid-term elections, managed to avoid their first casualty in a revolt against an unpopular president.

Democrats were looking for a win to send a message to the president that his policies are not resonating across the country.

"Greg Gianforte must immediately withdraw his candidacy after his alleged violent assault of an innocent journalist", Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tyler Law said in a statement. The AP called the race for Gianforte shorty after.

  • Zachary Reyes