Polls closed Thursday night in a Montana special house election, was shaken by a last-minute attack, charge, offense, filed against the Republican candidate.
The dispute had seen between Greg Gianforte and Democrat Rob Quist, were as another in a series of local referenda on the President, Donald Trump young administration. But the scrutiny intensified after Gianforte has been accused of attack on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters on Wednesday evening, an encounter experienced by a Fox News crew.
FOX-NEWS-TEAM WITNESS GOP-HOUSE-CANDIDATE “BODY SLAM” – REPORTER
Shaun Scott, a computer science professor at Carroll College in Helena, voted for Gianforte, despite the assault charge, saying it 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,” he said.
Like a third of the electorate in Montana, advertising executive Cailley Tonn of Bozeman had already by mail in your absentee ballot, if the melee took Gianforte campaign headquarters.
Still, she said, the incident would have changed anything, your vote for Gianforte.
“I was disappointed to see flew, he fell out of the handle,” she said.
But in the end, she added, her choice was about the reaffirmation of the Republican platform.
The Gallatin County Sheriff ‘ s Office quoted Gianforte for misdemeanor assault and he has until 7. June to appear in court. If convicted, Gianforte up to six months in jail and a fine of 500 dollars.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said Gianforte was charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony, because they used no weapon, and Jacobs was not seriously injured. The County Prosecutor’s office reviews the case.
The technology executive kept a low profile Thursday, crash-TV-interviews and keeping out of sight, even as his followers made ready, a victory of the party. His campaign has a debt to Jacobs, saying he’s aggressive with his cell phone shoved into the candidate’s face and grabbed Gianforte wrist as the Republicans way of trying to move it.
Montana supports Donald Trump by 20 percentage points over Hillary Clinton in last November, but also the re-election of the Democratic Governor, defeated Gianforte in November, 5 percentage points.
The voters are Republicans, and prefer to lean forward together with limited government and the right to bear arms.
To replace Gianforte hit on these topics in the race, Montana’s former Congressman, Ryan Zinke, at the trump – the Minister of the interior in March.
The Republican candidate focuses on the protection of the 2. Change and tries to bind, Quist, a first-time candidate, to the liberal Democrats, like house Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
But the theme of the election moved to Wednesday night, when Jacobs went in Gianforte’s office, he was preparing for an interview with Fox News.
Three of Montana’s largest Newspapers withdrew their endorsements of Gianforte, without the approval of his opponent — while the leaders of the two major parties called on him to apologize.
Speaker Of The House Of Representatives Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said, what was done “is wrong and should not happen.” Pelosi called Gianforte “a would-be trump.”
Republican Tina Strong, of Townsend said, you don’t know, Gianforte or whether the has a temper.
“But I can understand how someone someone could press the buttons,” she said. “I’m not a proponent of violence, but if you say that again, you must again.”
Some voters do not see the attack, the dynamics of the competition change, which dominated the state politics for weeks.
“I don’t think it’s changed probably, very many heads or of votes today, unfortunately,” said Patrick Paradis, of Helena, voted in favour of Quist. “Politics are pretty entrenched now in terms of people are going to follow and people choose to go.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.