Republican Greg Gianforte won the Montana special election Thursday despite being charged with a reporter a few hours before polls opened across the state.
With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Greg Gianforte led Democrat Rob Quist of more than 24,000 votes out of nearly 270,000 votes cast.
Gianforte said in his victory speech late on Thursday that his victory is a victory for all of Montana. He also used the platform to apologise to the reporter he allegedly assaulted, in the case of elections-eve-and a Fox News team, who witness the encounter.
To have “if you make a mistake, you are up to it. That is the Montana way. Last night I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can’t take them back, and I’m not proud of what happened. I shouldn’t have replied in the way that I have, and for that I am sorry. I should have not treated the reporter, the way, and for that I am sorry Mr Ben Jacobs.”
It was unclear whether Gianforte assault charge will affect the race. About a third of the electorate in Montana, had already cast their ballots in early voting, and others said, it has no impact on your voice.
Shaun Scott, a computer science professor at Carroll College in Helena, said the assault charge was hardly a factor in his decision.
“When you have someone stick a phone in your face, a mic in your face, over and over, and you don’t know how you deal with the situation, not have you really done that you treated, I can see where it can … make you a little angry,” Scott said on Thursday.
About a third of Montana voters absentee ballots had thrown in front of Gianforte Wednesday was quoted by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office after a confrontation with a Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. Witnesses, including a Fox News crew, said Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck and slammed him to the ground, while screaming “Get the hell out of here!”
The last-minute controversy unnerved the Republicans, even in the face of close calls this year in the traditionally Republican members of Congress districts in Kansas and Georgia. A runoff election is set for next month planned in Georgia between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, according to Ossoff fell just to win, win bet.
Gianforte’s lukewarm support for Trump showed during his unsuccessful run for Governor in Montana, the last autumn, a return but made the turn and turned into a seething Trump supporters, after he began campaigning for the congressional seat vacated prong Republicans, Ryan, when he was tapped to serve by trump as Interior Department Secretary.
Gianforte urged to send Montana voters to help him, Trump, “the swamp,” brought Vice-President Mike Pence and first son Donald Trump Jr. to campaign for him, and was supported by millions of dollars of ads and Mailings paid for by Republican groups.
The Associated Press contributed to this report