GOP candidate who scuffled with reporter wins Montana House election

Ben Jacobs was allegedly assaulted by Greg Gianforte, a California-born software entrepreneur who then won a vacant congressional seat in Montana.

Gianforte was a strong favorite throughout the campaign and that continued even after authorities charged him with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday. The incident has drawn extra attention to the race to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, considered a bellwether, in its final hours. It's unclear how it will affect the race, since about two-thirds of voters in that state have already picked Gianforte in early voting ahead of Thursday's election. The party may continue to seize on that theory since Gianforte only defeated Quist by single digits.

The congressional race in Montana pitted two diametrically opposed candidates against one another.

"He assaulted a reporter". The user commented, "I don't know anything about this guy, but I can appreciate him treating the jewish media how it deserves to be treated". "Who would wanna vote for that?" asked Jenny Bevill, a teacher from Whitefish. As reporters do when a politician evades answering, The Guardian's Ben Jacobs asked the question a second time.

"I mean, that story - it's possible it's not even true", she told Montana Public Radio. Jacobs persisted with his question.

On the audio, Gianforte can not be heard asking Jacobs to lower the recorder at any point during the incident.

“Get the hell out of here, ” Gianforte says.

"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys!"

Members of a Fox News Channel crew who say they witnessed the incident published a firsthand account, offering details that are at odds with Scanlon's version of the event, which blames Jacobs and stands in stark contrast to the Fox News crew's description of what unfolded.

According to audio from Jacobs, after he pressed Gianforte for his reaction to the CBO score, the would-be congressman then body-slammed him to the ground, breaking his glasses and injuring his elbow.

If Quist does win, expect liberals to downplay Gianforte's eleventh-hour assault charge and instead emphasize the fact that their guy campaigned heavily in opposition to the GOP health-care bill.

Gianforte could face a maximum $500 fine or six months in jail if convicted; he's due in court on or before June 7. The candidate was not in custody or under arrest at the time.

Gianforte promised his own course-correction late Thursday.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and U.S. Sen.

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

The Montana congressional candidate, who was favored to win, has not been seen or heard from Thursday as voters go to the polls. She said another cheered at news of a journalist getting roughed up. "They deserve to have their voices heard in Washington".

That's according to NBC News' Peter Alexander, who cites a source close to the campaign operation. Last night I made a mistake. "I don't advocate violence, but when you're told to back off, you need to back off". "And that's something I think can be tied back to Donald Trump". "But how do you as a campaign release a statement like that knowing that there were other people in the room who were eyewitnesses, and now we know that it turns out to be a total lie?" But part of the job representing the people of Montana is answering basic questions on important topics, topics such as how a risky health care plan could impact the very people you are trying to represent.

Ryan said it was up to Montana voters to pick their representative and he would not attempt to block Gianforte from joining Congress if he wins the election. He said that in general, Trump had exhibited "thuggish behavior".

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence recorded robocalls to voters on Gianforte's behalf, and Republican groups poured millions into ads criticizing Quist for property tax liens and unpaid debts, which Quist said stemmed from a botched gallbladder surgery.

Democrat Rob Quist is a 69-year-old singer-songwriter and self-described small businessman from the town of Cut Bank, where he grew up on the highline, a rural corner of the state.

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