Gianforte wins Montana House race after assault charge

26 May, 2017, 13:40 | Author: Essie Rivera

Gianforte, a wealthy software executive, lost to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock previous year by about 4 points, even as President Trump rolled to a 20-point win in the state.

Yet Ryan said Thursday the people of Montana would decide their next congressman, and declined to say they shouldn't vote for Gianforte.

"NBC Montana takes pride in reporting only verifiable facts from independent, reliable sources, officials and documents, regardless of what is reported by other media outlets", anchor Laurel Staples explained to the 10 p.m. audience.

Libertarian Mark Wicks was the third candidate in the race.

Gianforte urged Montana voters to send him to help Trump "drain the swamp", brought in Vice President Mike Pence and first son Donald Trump Jr.to campaign for him and was supported by millions of dollars of ads and mailers paid for by Republican groups.

Republican Greg Gianforte, an entrepreneurial tech billionaire, seemed the obvious favorite in a state that went big for Trump and the seat hasn't been held by a Democrat in two decades. However, per Montana law, already-cast absentee ballots can not be changed. In the recording, Gianforte can be heard saying that he was "sick and exhausted of you guys".

Saying he was "not proud" of his behavior, he added, "I should not have responded the way I did, for that I'm sorry". "I should not have treated that reporter that way and for that I'm sorry, Mr. Jacobs".

Gianforte also echoed numerous catch phrases that rang through Trump's campaign, promising to "drain the swamp" and "make America great again", a message consistent with his recent candidacy. "I know he has his own version and I'm sure he's gonna have more to say, but there's no call for this".

Quist, wearing his signature cowboy hat, told supporters in Missoula, Montana, that the grassroots energy of his campaign would continue.

Rob Quist, Dem 158,860 - 43%. "They deserve to have their voices heard in Washington".

Gianforte dropped out of sight after he was cited by police and ignored calls on Thursday by national Republicans for him to apologise to the reporter.

Another reporter, Alexis Levinson of BuzzFeed News, who was just outside the office, said on Twitter she saw Jacobs' "feet fly in the air as he hit the floor" amid yelling and commotion. "Don't be discouraged, be determined ..." I think Greg should apologize. "I'm hearing that from prominent conservatives and Democrats alike", Saldin said.

With almost 253,000 votes counted some two hours after polls had closed, Gianforte led Quist by 18,000 votes, or 51 percent to 43 percent.

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It was unclear if Gianforte's assault had an impact on the vote. Bernie Sanders for president, and frequently votes across the ticket. "We're losing our country here". It was hard to determine on election night to what extent voters who cast a ballot Thursday were influenced by the altercation.

Both of Kalispell, they were well versed in the news that erupted Wednesday night.

"We wouldn't condone it if it happened in a home or even a late-night bar fight".

"I think if you've done something wrong, you should apologize", Vicki Hampson said. "So many ballots have already been turned in through early voting".

"I bet Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief", she said. "And that's something I think can be tied back to Donald Trump". "It's appalling and it creates serious image concerns for Montana". "Are you with The Guardian?".

"Yes! You just broke my glasses", Jacobs replied. "The last guy who came here, you did the same thing".

"Get the hell out of here", Gianforte says.

But the theme of the election shifted Wednesday night when Jacobs walked into Gianforte's office as he was preparing for an interview with Fox News.

Gianforte was charged Wednesday evening with misdemeanor assault against Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian. Jake Tapper said on CNN's "The Lead".

Gianforte, who will defend the seat during next year's mid-term elections, sounded contrite.

The contest for Montana's sole U.S. House seat began after Republican Ryan Zinke resigned in March, when he became U.S. Interior secretary.

Saldin said the conflicting details between what Gianforte's campaign released following the alleged assault and the accounts by multiple eyewitnesses are disconcerting.

Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, who is up for re-election in 2018 in what's expected to be a highly competitive race, said in a statement that the incident was now "in the hands of law enforcement".

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