Republican Greg Gianforte staked out a solid lead Thursday night over Democrat Rob Quist in Montana's congressional election, with as much as two-thirds of the votes cast. If Gianforte craps the bed tonight and loses one of the safest Republican House seats in the country, the party now has a handy talking point for why it's not a harbinger of a blue wave in next year's midterms.
Some who voted for Quist said they were optimistic some Independent voters would change their vote as a result of the news, but said die-hard supporters on either side of the aisle would find the good in their candidate.
The Montana Republican Congressional candidate charged with assaulting a reporter packs a powerful tech pedigree.
A race that was expected to be a test of President Donald Trump's political clout ahead of next year's USA congressional elections was jolted by the charge against Gianforte, a wealthy technology executive who had urged voters to send him to Congress to help fellow Republican Trump.
Gianforte has disappeared. He was last seen driving away from the incident and cancelled all appearances Thursday.
But the age of Donald Trump has corrupted a great many people and shattered norms. Nathaniel Trumper, who voted for Gianforte, said he did not trust the published accounts of the alleged assault.
Rob Quist (l) and Greg Gianforte (r) have been locked in an anything but tiresome battle in Montana's special election.
Republican congressman Steve Stivers, the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said, "this was totally out of character" for Gianforte, and "we all make mistakes".
Afterward, three state newspapers rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte.
"I am sick and exhausted of you guys", Mr. Gianforte barks.
Gianforte's win may turn out to be modest comfort for the Trump White House-proof that historical voting patterns may be enough to lift Republican candidates to victory at a time when the president is unpopular and the candidates have profound flaws, like an inability to control their temper. And he's now the Republican candidate for Montana's congressional seat.
When Jacobs says there wont be time, Gianforte says Just- and there is a crashing sound.
The Gianforte campaign Wednesday night released a statement blaming the incident on Jacobs.
"That is wrong and it should not have happened", Ryan said.
"Yeah, I think he should apologize", U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan told a news briefing. The president's son, Donald Trump Jr., and Vice President Pence also traveled to the state on his behalf.
Gianforte is facing off against Democrat Rob Quist in the race for Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's former seat. Mr. Gianforte told Mr. Jacobs he would talk to him about the bill later and directed him to his campaign spokesman.
Republican candidate for Montana's only U.S. House seat, Greg Gianforte, sits in a vehicle near a Discovery Drive building Wednesday, May 24, 2017, in Bozeman, Mont.
There's no upside to having your party's nominee for a House seat charged with assault literally on the eve of an election, but if you're straining to find a silver lining for the GOP, here you go.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin has donated money - $250 - to Gianforte, and he apologized during a Thursday news conference for not disclosing that fact. "I don't condone violence of any kind.I've got confidence in my local law enforcement back home to investigate the matter".
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