Greg Gianforte wins Montana special election, apologizes for violence against reporter

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Republican Greg Gianforte has won a special election in the USA state of Montana - only a day after being charged with assault for allegedly "body slamming" a reporter.

"Great win in Montana", Trump told reporters trailing him at the G-7 Summit in Sicily, before walking away.

Montana's Republican senator and House Speaker Paul Ryan had called on Gianforte to apologize on Thursday.

Though Gianforte's Democratic opponent-folk singer and first-time candidate Rob Quist-gained momentum during the election, particularly after Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday, it wasn't enough to push him over the edge.

Jacobs called 911 and after a brief investigation, Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault. Last night I did make a mistake. "I took an action I can't take back and I am not proud of what happened".

"Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian's Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face, and began asking badgering questions".

More news: Montana election pits behavior against partisan loyalties

"You just body slammed me and broke my glasses", Jacobs said moments later.

"And to see this person who wants to be the one representative into the House of Representatives from Montana be sort of a wannabe Trump - you know, use language like that, treat people harshly like that - that's his model".

Gianforte ran for governor in Montana last fall as a moderate supporter Donald Trump supporter. "That was a thing, a real thing that happened, and we still said, 'Yeah, he should be president'".

It's also worth noting that, despite winning in last night's election, Gianforte significantly underperformed compared to how Republicans fared in Montana during the 2016 general election. But after Gianforte declared victory, he apologized for his actions. The candidates are vying to replace Ryan Zinke, whom President Donald Trump selected to be Interior secretary.

Gianforte released a statement about the incident, alleging that Jacobs was aggressive. Trump won Montana by 20.6 percent over Hillary Clinton in November. Witnesses corroborated the events, but Gianforte won the election despite the massive controversy and backlash that followed.

"When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it", he said. Democrats were initially hopeful that he'd appeal to Montana's right-leaning voters who have a history of electing Democratic mavericks. Democrats would have to pick up 24 seats in next year's elections to retake the House majority. Quist gained the most ground in non-urban precincts.