Greg Gianforte wins special election in Montana

The incident was witnessed by a Fox News crew, and recorded audio of it soon became available online. According to Alexis Levinson, a reporter for BuzzFeed, Jacobs had followed the candidate into a room where a camera was set up for an interview, before the event began. "And I took an action that I can't take back", he said. "I should not have treated that reporter that way".

"That's not the person I am and it's not the way I'll lead in this state", he continued.

Gianforte won the seat relatively comfortably with 50.6% of the vote compared with 43.6% for his nearest rival, Democrat Rob Quist. Libertarian candidate Mark Wicks was taking 6 percent.

The tongue-in-cheek cheek provided a bit of comic relief in the stunned wake of Gianforte's witnessed "body slamming" of a Guardian reporter who dared to ask him about Trumpcare.

As Jacobs pressed the candidate on the GOP health care bill, "Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him", Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna wrote in an article.

Gianforte then addressed the incident that happened on Wednesday night, for which he was charged with misdemeanor assault against reporter Ben Jacobs.

Gianforte is due in court on or before June 7. If convicted, he could face up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

After hours of silence, others in the party began weighing in as well.

In 24 hours, the race has turned upside down.

Quist did well Thursday in Democratic strongholds like Missoula, Helena, Bozeman and Butte - but he lost Great Falls, usually considered a Democratic city, and he lost big in Billings, which Democrats need to at least break even if they hope to win statewide.

Quist, a Stetson-wearing folk singer who is well-known across the state for his music, has tried to ride the rising opposition to Trump to an upset.

While Quist was outspoken in his opposition to the bill, Gianforte had hedged.

Quist ran a nontraditional populist campaign that saw appearances by Sen.

Rob Quist (l) and Greg Gianforte (r) have been locked in an anything but boring battle in Montana's special election.

The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Steve Stivers, issued a statement hailing Gianforte's win, as well as his apology.

And both parties also privately grumbled about their candidates. Scattered cheers could be heard in the crowd as Gianforte motioned for them not to applaud.

Quist, a longtime musician and founder of the iconic Mission Mountain Wood Band, also faced multiple questions during the campaign about his past finances, such as unpaid property taxes that he eventually paid off.

Bullock defeated Gianforte by 20,000 votes a year ago in Montana's gubernatorial election.

Gianforte has disappeared. He was last seen driving away from the incident and cancelled all appearances Thursday.

Gianforte's campaign was boosted by rallies featuring Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. plus millions of dollars in ads by Republican groups.

"Together, tonight, we won a victory for our Treasure State", he said to cheers.

"There's always the possibility that when we get the case and the details, that we might look differently at the charging decision", Lambert said. "Montanans said Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi can't call the shots".

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough used the physical assault of a reporter by Montana GOP congressional candidate Greg Gianforte to rip President Trump for his "thuggish behavior". "We were eventually able to confirm and we did aggressively report the facts of the story, the investigation and the assault citation base on the sheriff's information and press conference which we covered and sent in it's entirely to NBC and MSNBC immediately", she said.

Republicans have held the state's lone congressional seat for two decades.

  • Zachary Reyes