Republican charged with assault claims win in Montana special el - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Republican charged with assault claims win in Montana special election

Posted: Updated:
Photo courtesy of NBC News. Photo courtesy of NBC News.

by ALEX JOHNSON

Republican Greg Gianforte declared victory early Friday in Montana's special congressional election, barely a day after he was accused of slamming a journalist to the ground and charged with misdemeanor assault.

Gianforte, 55, a technology entrepreneur, won a bare majority of the vote. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, he had 50 percent of the vote, while the Democrat, Rob Quist, had 44 percent. Libertarian Mark Wicks had 6 percent.

Quist, who is a country singer, conceded the contest for Montana's lone seat in the U.S. House.

"Tonight Montanans are sending a message to the Washington, D.C., establishment," Gianforte told a cheering crowd in Bozeman about 12:45 a.m. ET.

"Last night, I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can't take back," Gianforte said, addressing the assault charge publicly for the first time. "I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that, I am sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs."

He added: "And I'm sorry to each one of you that we had to go through this. You deserve a congressman who stays out of the limelight and just gets work done."

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Gianforte "was right to apologize for his actions in Wednesday's incident."

She added: "Tonight's apology was a good first step toward redemption and I hope Gianforte continues to work toward righting his wrong."

In his concession speech, first-time candidate Quist described the campaign as "one of the greatest experiences of my life."

Gianforte had been leading Quist and Wicks in opinion polls before Wednesday night, when Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, accused Gianforte of having "body slammed" him at a campaign event.

Gianforte denied the allegation, accusing Jacobs of having been the aggressor. A Fox News Channel crew who witnessed the confrontation backed Jacobs' version of events.

Democrats demanded that Gianforte withdraw from the race for the U.S. House seat left vacant after Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke became President Donald Trump's interior secretary.

But the incident came after an estimated two-thirds of voters had already cast their ballots by mail — and none were allowed to change their votes after news of the confrontation broke.

WEEKLY CIRCULARS
  • NewsMore>>

  • Residents tour CPD's Real Time Intelligence Center with Chief Roddy

    Residents tour CPD's Real Time Intelligence Center with Chief Roddy

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 10:58 PM EDT2017-08-24 02:58:35 GMT
    Photo by WRCB reporter Taneisha Cordell.Photo by WRCB reporter Taneisha Cordell.

    Chief David Roddy took about two dozen people on a tour of the department's Real Time Intelligence Center (RTIC).  RTIC was unveiled back in March. It's a place where investigators can monitor real time cameras, review video footage and store digital data. 

    More

    Chief David Roddy took about two dozen people on a tour of the department's Real Time Intelligence Center (RTIC).  RTIC was unveiled back in March. It's a place where investigators can monitor real time cameras, review video footage and store digital data. 

    More
  • 10 Things to Know for Thursday

    10 Things to Know for Thursday

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 10:57 PM EDT2017-08-24 02:57:22 GMT
    Among 10 Things to Know: Trump revisits Charlottesville comments in angry speech in Phoenix; US Navy dismisses 7th Fleet commander after warship accidents; ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee taken off University of...More
    Among 10 Things to Know: Trump revisits Charlottesville comments in angry speech in Phoenix; US Navy dismisses 7th Fleet commander after warship accidents; ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee taken off University of Virginia football game because of his name.More
  • Walmart joins forces with Google on voice-activated shopping

    Walmart joins forces with Google on voice-activated shopping

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 10:57 PM EDT2017-08-24 02:57:11 GMT
    Walmart dives into voice-activated shopping in partnership with Google.More
    Walmart dives into voice-activated shopping in partnership with Google.More
Powered by Frankly