Gianforte win Montana's congressional election with relative ease

As Jacobs was attempting to ask him a question about the Republican alternative to Obamacare in a private room, Gianforte reportedly assaulted the reporter, leaving him sprawled out and breaking his glasses. It wasn't until Greg Gianforte won the special election that he apologized for whatever harm he allegedly caused Jacobs.

At least two-thirds of the expected votes - some 260,000 - have already been cast, by absentee ballots that can't be changed.

A race that was expected to be a test of President Donald Trump's political influence ahead of next year's US congressional elections was jolted by the charge against Gianforte, a wealthy technology executive who had urged voters to send him to Congress to help Trump.

Postscript: Gianforte publicly apologized to reporter Ben Jacobs, the reporter he sent to the hospital, after declaring victory last night. "Last night I made a mistake".

"So that is wrong and should not have happened".But Ryan wouldn't say if Greg Gianforte should be barred from joining the House GOP conference if he wins Thursday's election.

It had been unclear if Gianforte's assault charge would impact the race.

"When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it", Gianforte said.

Donald Trump won his race against Hillary Clinton this past fall in the state by 20 points, while Ryan Zinke-the Republican whose seat is being filled after he left Congress to become Trump's Interior Secretary-won his contest by just under 16 points.

After the incident, the Gallatin County Sheriff cited Gianforte for misdemeanor assault, and instructed him to appear in court by June 7. Gianforte's campaign later issued a statement, seemingly contradicted by the audio, saying it was Jacobs who had been "aggressive".

Three of the biggest newspapers in Montana were quick to rescind their endorsements of Gianforte, and Montana's Democratic Governor Steve Bullock called Gianforte's actions "unsettling on many levels". Though Democratic lawmakers had no problem castigating Gianforte for the alleged assault, few Republicans complained about his behavior. Washington Democrats spent a little bit of money to boost Democratic candidate, folk singer Rob Quist, then decided not to invest any more precious resources when they didn't see a good return on investment.

The homepage for Gianforte's Congressional campaign. "This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics".

Mr Gianforte did apologise after being declared the victor, according to AP. Meyers told Gianforte that he's a politician and it's his job to answer reporters questions. Quist raised more than $6 million to fund his campaign, include $1 million in the last week of the campaign alone.

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