Greg Gianforte wins special election in Montana

Greg Gianforte wins special election in Montana

Gianforte had been favored to win in Montana, where Republicans have held the lone House seat for two decades and where Trump won by more than 20 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.

Gianforte apologized personally to Jacobs and the Fox News crew that saw the incident and said he was "sorry to each one of you, that we had to go through this". And I just ask you to bear with me.

Last night, I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can't take back. I'm not proud of what happened. For that I'm sorry.

"You just body slammed me and broke my glasses", a shaken Jacobs replies. FILE - In this March 11, 2017, file photo, Mark Wicks, standing, addresses Montana Libertarians gathering for their party's nominating convention in Helena, Mont.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced that it would launch as many Facebook ads as possible about the assault, targeting Montana Democrats who might not otherwise vote Thursday.

Gianforte was elected despite being charged with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday after witnesses said he grabbed a reporter for the Guardian newspaper and slammed him to the ground.

Earlier that evening, The Guardian posted a recording in which Jacobs is heard asking Gianforte a question about health care policy right before the candidate snaps.

In his victory speech, Gianforte offered an apology to the reporter he was accused of assaulting the day before.

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"That's not the person that I am". His Democratic rival Rob Quist has 43%.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan did not endorse the candidate's actions. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Gianforte was a "wannabe Trump", citing the president's occasionally harsh language and behavior. A spokesman for the Montana secretary of state's office said they had received a dozen phone calls from voters Thursday morning.

Gianforte was considered the favorite with a single-digit lead over Quist in recent polling data. Gianforte's campaign did not deny Jacobs' allegation but countered in its own statement that the reporter provoked an altercation. The majority of voters had already cast ballots by mail before the incident.

Jacobs said Thursday of Gianforte's account that "the only thing that is factually my name and place of employment". Considering this is a special election, turnout was expected to be lower than normal.

Jeremy Johnson, an associate professor of political science at Carroll College, told MTN News the big question is whether that dynamic changes. "Rob Quist is too liberal for Montana-he is very liberal", Daines told Politico. But whether those effects are enough to sway the outcome is a guessing game, he said.

Quist has declined to comment on the charge.

The Associated Press has called the Montana U.S. special election for Greg Gianforte.

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