Greg Gianforte wins Montana special election, apologizes for violence against reporter

Posted May 27, 2017

Gianforte will take the House seat vacated when Trump named Ryan Zinke as secretary of the interior.

On Wednesday, in front of a Fox News crew that was setting up for an interview, Jacobs confronted Gianforte about the new CBO report on the American Health Care Act.

Initially, Gianforte did not issue an apology but instead claimed that Jacobs grabbed him by the wrist before the two fell to the ground, an account that was not in line with the Fox News reporter's description of the incident. Montana newspapers pulled their endorsements of Gianforte, and the Gallatin County sheriff - himself a donor to Gianforte's campaign - charged him with misdemeanor assault.

Gianforte used part of his victory to apologize to Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

Gianforte told the crowd celebrating his victory: "I should not have responded the way I did and for that I am sorry". "That's the Montana way".

"Last night I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can't take back".

"I've learned my electors wait until the last minute", she said.

"You just body slammed me and broke my glasses", Jacobs said.

"It is unsettling on many levels that Greg Gianforte physically assaulted a journalist and then lied, refusing to take responsibility for his action".

"There's never a time a physical altercation should occur with the press, or just between human beings", Ryan told reporters Thursday in Washington.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence recorded robocalls urging voters not to let the Democrats take the seat.

Quist said he was "sure that Montanans will hold Mr. Gianforte accountable".

A Democrat has not held the Montana U.S. House seat since Pat Williams departed in 1997 after he decided not to seek re-election.

He said less committed Gianforte supporters could stay home Thursday, or other voters could be motivated to come out for Quist or Wicks. Republican Greg Gianforte greets supporters at a hotel ballroom after winning Montana's sole congressional seat, Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Bozeman, Mont.

If this doesn't make Republicans nervous - and prompt tactical questions about whether the party is on the correct course - they're not paying close enough attention. Several news outlets called the race by early Friday morning, including the Associated Press and CNN. "At what point do Republicans start criticizing Donald Trump for attacking federal judges?" He campaigned last weekend with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who won the state's 2016 Democratic presidential primary against Hillary Clinton.

A large number of absentee votes had already been cast prior to election day, with 259,558 having already been received before the polls opened on Thursday.