Republican Greg Gianforte overcame a last-minute assault charge to win Montana’s special congressional election Thursday, keeping its lone House seat in GOP hands and dealing Democrats a setback in their bid to gain a red-state toehold ahead of the 2018 midterm election.
Gianforte, 56, a wealthy businessman who ran unsuccessfully for governor in November, had long been the front-runner against Democrat Rob Quist, a professional bluegrass musician making his first run for public office.
With more than 90% of the votes counted, Gianforte was holding a healthy lead with just over 50% support.
Appearing at an exuberant victory rally in Bozeman, the congressman-elect hushed the crowd and apologized to the reporter with whom he tangled on election eve, reversing his campaign’s initial assertion that the journalist was to blame. (Read more from “Overcoming Assault Charge, Republican Gianforte Wins Montana Congressional Seat” HERE)