Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Gianforte wins US House race day after charged with assault

Connie Andrews | 27 May, 2017, 02:26

Mr Gianforte prevailed despite being charged on Wednesday night with misdemeanor assault on Ben Jacobs, a political correspondent for the U.S. edition of the Guardian newspaper, who said the candidate "body-slammed" him during a campaign event in Bozeman.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and MoveOn.org used the Wednesday night incident, involving reporter Ben Jacobs of the Guardian of London, in online and radio ads to spur last-minute voter registration and turnout. It wasn't until Greg Gianforte won the special election that he apologized for whatever harm he allegedly caused Jacobs. By the time polling places opened on Thursday, about half of the estimated total ballots had already been cast early. Democrats had sought to capitalize on the unpopularity of President Donald Trump and the American Health Care Act to propel Quist, a banjo-playing folksinger and Montana native known throughout the state, to victory.

Postscript: Gianforte publicly apologized to reporter Ben Jacobs, the reporter he sent to the hospital, after declaring victory last night.

Last night, I learned a lesson.

Thursday's election leaves Democrats without a win in special elections since November, with Republicans having won contests in Louisiana, Kansas and now Montana.

He criticized Gianforte's statement following the incident, which Meyers said tried to make the politician himself sound like a victim.

Representative elect Greg Gianforte delivers his victory speech during a special congressional election called after former Rep. Ryan Zinke was appointed to lead the Interior Department, in Bozeman, Montana, U.S., May 25, 2017.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin, who acknowledged he had donated $250 to Gianforte's campaign, charged the candidate with misdemeanor assault.

Gianforte, a technology entrepreneur, defeated Quist to continue the GOP's two-decade stronghold on the congressional seat. "I took an action I can't take back and I am not proud of what happened", he said. According to a campaign statement made immediately after the incident, "After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined".

Three of Montana's biggest newspapers rescinded their pro-Gianforte endorsements.

"There's never a time a physical altercation should occur with the press, or just between human beings", Mr Ryan told reporters Thursday in Washington. His Democratic rival Rob Quist has 43%.

Gianforte did apologise after being declared the victor, according to AP. Quist raised $6 million, and progressive groups like Democracy for America enlisted thousands of people to make hundreds of thousands of phone calls on Quist's behalf.

McDaniel also said Gianforte "was right to apologize" for his behavior on Wednesday.

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