Greg Gianforte keeps low profile, Montana votes

Olive Rios
May 27, 2017

Now, on the day that Gianforte is up for election as a Republican congressional candidate in Montana, he's facing new controversy in the Tri-State, at the engineering and science university from which he graduated. The incident has drawn extra attention to the race to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, considered a bellwether, in its final hours.

But Gianforte brushed Jacobs off and then suddenly "body-slammed" him onto the ground, breaking his glasses, Jacobs says.

Jacobs' recording, which contradicted claims by Gianforte's campaign that the "liberal journalist" was the aggressor, quickly became a key part of the unfolding story.

Bullock defeated Gianforte by 20,000 votes past year in Montana's gubernatorial election. In 2016 he ran for governor against Democratic incumbent Steve Bullock, who was re-elected.

Montana law enforcement officials on Wednesday charged Gianforte with misdemeanor assault following an alleged physical altercation with Jacobs. Republicans believed the race had closed in the final days, but that Gianforte still had a slim lead.

Wednesday's incident occurred at a Gianforte campaign event in Bozeman, Mont., when Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, approached Gianforte to ask him about a new Congressional Budget Office analysis of House-passed health care legislation.

"If he wins, he has been chosen by the Montana, the people of Montana", said Ryan, R-Wis. "The people of the state of Montana are gonna decide today who they will send to Congress". Gianforte's campaign blamed Jacobs, saying the reporter was being aggressive and grabbed Gianforte. "So that is wrong and it just should not have happened.I think he should apologize".

"Part of the job representing the people of Montana is answering basic questions on important topics, topics such as how a risky healthcare plan could impact the very people you are trying to represent".

Ben Jacobs told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he was doing his job and asking a question of candidate Greg Gianforte as part of covering Thursday's special election.

The polls are open in a race for Montana's only congressional seat just hours after the front-running candidate was charged with beating up a reporter. The president's son, Donald Trump Jr., and Vice President Pence also traveled to the state on his behalf.

Gianforte's victory is a boost for Republicans, who are anxious Trump's political stumbles and the unpopularity of the healthcare bill passed by the House will hurt their chances of holding on to a 24-seat House majority in next year's elections. "Not quirky personalities." Quist is a folk musician and first-time candidate. He hasn't made the president his central campaign pitch and hasn't tried to capitalize on the scandals engulfing his administration in recent days but has made his opposition to the health care bill a key point in the campaign's final stretch.

Still, she said, the incident would not have changed her vote for Gianforte.

While Quist was outspoken in his opposition to the bill, Gianforte had hedged.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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