Gianforte Holds On To Lead To Win Seat In Montana

Criminal assault suspect Greg Gianforte is the victor of the special election to fill Montana's seat in the U.S. House, according to the Associated Press, David Wasserman of Cook Political Report (writing at FiveThirtyEight), and DecisionDeskHQ. Jacobs said Gianforte "body-slammed" him after becoming incensed over a question about the House health care bill, a recap that mirrored what Jacobs got on tape.

Mr Gianforte had previously said Mr Jacobs had grabbed his wrist, pulling them both to the ground.

After the incident, the Gallatin County Sheriff cited Gianforte for misdemeanor assault, and instructed him to appear in court by June 7.

In his acceptance speech before several hundred supporters, Gianforte said he "made a mistake" in the way he treated Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, ahead of a campaign stop on Wednesday.

Gianforte has since apologised for his behaviour, saying it is "the Montana way" to own up to mistakes. "That's the Montana way".

Gianforte told the crowd: "I should not have responded the way I did and for that I am sorry". "For that, I'm sorry".

Shaun Scott, a computer science professor at Carroll College in Helena, voted for Gianforte despite the assault charge. Early voting was certainly a factor in the win: by Wednesday night, more than half of voters had already cast their ballots in the race due to the state's mail-in voting law. "Ben Jacobs." Gianforte told his supporters at his Election Night rally on Thursday in Bozeman.

Even if he were found guilty and served the maximum sentence-six months in Montana-Gianforte could still serve in Congress.

Awkward entrance: President Trump and Vice President Pence made robocalls for Gianforte, and Donald Trump Jr. was the tech entrepreneur's most high-profile surrogate.

CNN also pointed out in its reporting the recent spate of journalist run-ins with Republicans, including the reporter who says he was pinned against the wall by security guards for trying to ask a question of FCC commissioner Michael O'Rielly. Town Hall reports that businessman and Republican candidate Greg Gianforte won the Montana special election, despite the "body slam" said to have taken place Wednesday. Three of Montana's biggest newspapers rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte and Democratic lawmakers publicly scolded the GOP's candidate.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday condemned Gianforte's behavior and called on the then-candidate to apologize. Democrats have held the governorship in Montana since 2005, and one of the state's two US Senate seats since 2007.

  • Larry Hoffman