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Montana Special Election Won by Republican Greg Gianforte

Image: Montana Special Election Won by Republican Greg Gianforte

Republican Greg Gianforte prepares to thank supporters. (AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan)

By    |   Friday, 26 May 2017 07:38 AM

Montana's special election on Thursday was won by Republican Greg Gianforte, despite heavy media coverage of him being charged with assaulting a reporter the night before.

With 97.7 of the votes counted, according to the Montana Secretary of State office website, Gianforte won 50 percent of the vote (188,825) compared to 44 percent for Democrat Rob Quick (164,936) and six percent for Libertarian Mark Wicks (21,386).

Nearly 260,000 residents voted early via absentee ballot before Thursday, according to The Atlantic, more than half of all the votes that were cast in 2016 general election. Montana allows early absentee voting either in person or by mail.

The race was for Montana's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office filed the assault charges against Gianforte, a millionaire technology executive, after he reportedly body-slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. After initially blaming the incident initially on Jacobs, Gianforte offered an apology Thursday, reported National Public Radio.

"When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it," Gianforte said during his victory speech in Bozeman, per Politico. "That's the Montana way. Last night I made a mistake and I took an action that I can't take back and I'm not proud of what happened. I should not have responded in the way that I did and for that I am sorry."

"I should not have treated that reporter that way and for that I am sorry Mr. Ben Jacobs."

Jacobs had pressed Gianforte for his reaction to the Congressional Budget Office score on the U.S. House bill to replace the Affordable Care Act when the incident happened. A Fox News team in the room preparing for an interview witnessed the incident and confirmed that Gianforte "grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground ... then began punching the reporter," per NPR.

Three of the state's largest newspapers rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte after the incident while Democrats called on him to withdraw from the race, reported NBC News.

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Montana's special election on Thursday was won by Republican Greg Gianforte, despite heavy media coverage of him being charged with assaulting a reporter the night before.
montana, special election, republican, greg gianforte
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2017-38-26
Friday, 26 May 2017 07:38 AM
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