Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Greg Gianforte wins special election in Montana

Kelvin Reese | 27 May, 2017, 00:06

Republican Greg Gianforte won a relatively easy victory in Montana's congressional election Thursday - despite being cited for assault the night before, when he roughed up a reporter at a campaign event. Montana newspapers pulled their endorsements of Gianforte, and the Gallatin County sheriff - himself a donor to Gianforte's campaign - charged him with misdemeanor assault.

Quist has declined to comment on the charge.

He emerged only at his victory celebration Thursday night, where he said he accepted responsibility for the incident.

"That's not the person I am and that's not the way I'll lead this state", he said.

The issue has become a focal point for American voters, and Gianforte, 56, had remained non-committal about the legislation, even though he has embraced many aspects of the Trump presidency. Jacobs told The Guardian, "I think he wailed on me once or twice". Gianforte would face a maximum $500 fine or 6 months in jail if convicted. Authorities said Jacobs' injuries weren't severe enough for a felony assault charge. "[We] watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter". The reporter had tried to ask Gianforte a question about the latest budget analysis of the GOP health care bill.

"Montana sent a strong message tonight that we want a Congressman that will work with President Trump to make America and Montana great again", he said. Jacobs alleges that Gianforte shoved him to the ground. "The last guy that came in here did the same thing", the candidate is heard saying. The candidate grabbed the reporter by the neck with both hands and slammed him to the ground. According to a campaign statement made immediately after the incident, "After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined".

A newly elected USA congressman has apologised after allegedly assaulting a news reporter one day before the special election.

Republicans now find themselves with an incoming member of Congress forced to appear in county court in coming weeks - a predicament Democrats will no doubt exploit as an example of the GOP's decay. "Ben Jacobs." Gianforte told his supporters at his Election Night rally on Thursday in Bozeman.

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Gianforte ran for governor in Montana last fall as a moderate supporter Donald Trump supporter.

The Associated Press called the race for Gianforte shortly after 10:30 p.m. MT.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock listens to a reporter's question at the governor's residence in Helena, Mont., on October 11, 2016. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Donald Trump Jr. all campaigned in favor of Gianforte during the course of the special election. But Montana isn't a uniformly red state.

That means anywhere from a third to a fourth of the overall vote will happen at the polls Thursday. The Committee called for Gianforte to quit the race.

Republicans have held the state's single seat in the House for two decades.

He will be taking the place of Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

You have always been on my side and I pledge I'll always be on your side.

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