Republican Greg Gianforte has won the special election for Montana’s open US House seat, CNN projects, defeating Democrat Rob Quist and capping off a whirlwind final 36 hours of the campaign that saw Gianforte being charged for allegedly assaulting a reporter.
With 83% of precincts reporting, Gianforte had 171,149 votes — or 50.3% of the vote, compared to Quist who has 149,138 votes, 43.9% of the vote, according to Edison Research.
Gianforte was considered the favorite heading into Thursday’s election to fill the seat once held by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, but that was before he allegedly “body-slammed” a reporter during his final campaign event in Bozeman on Wednesday.
The crowd started laughing when Gianforte mentioned the assault — 60 seconds later, it’s applauding as he apologizes.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) May 26, 2017
Gianforte apologizes: "i'm not proud of what happened. i should not have responded in the way that i did, and for that i'm sorry."
— Alexis Levinson (@alexis_levinson) May 26, 2017
Greg Gianforte apologizes after winning AND after standing behind lie until vote was tallied. So sick of bullshit "manning up" nonsense
— jeffpearlman (@jeffpearlman) May 26, 2017
Greg Gianforte, in victory speech, apologies to @Bencjacobs for assault incident. "I should not have treated that reporter the way I did"
— Don Gonyea NPR (@DonGonyea) May 26, 2017
Newly elected Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte, charged with assault, apologizes to Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in his victory speech.
— Lorrie Goldstein (@sunlorrie) May 26, 2017