Most Democrats are relieved and encouraged that their candidate, folk musician Rob Quist, lost by just six points, even after national Republican groups poured twice as much money into the race as their Democratic counterparts.
The win reaffirms Montana's voters support for Trump. Thursday afternoon saw Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) stopping short of saying he would refuse to seat Gianforte if he won the congressional seat; however, he did call on him to apologize to Jacobs. Ben Jacobs. I want to apologize to the FOX News team and I am sorry to each of you for my actions.
"That is not the person I am or the leader I will be for Montana", he added.
Jacobs posted audio of the incident in which Gianforte appears to say "The last time you came in here you did the same thing. I should not have responded the way I did and for that I am sorry".
Last night, as the news was breaking, Democratic U.S. Sen.
Gianforte was cited for misdemeanor assault stemming from a scuffle in which the candidate allegedly "body slammed" Jacobs, who was asking a question.
Trent Franks, the Republican representative from Arizona's 8th District, rejected Gianforte's actions, but also blamed liberals. "This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics".
Republican Tina Stark of Townsend said she doesn't know Gianforte or whether has a temper.
During his run for the House seat, Mr Gianforte tied himself to Mr Trump, promising to help "drain the swamp" and campaigning with Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr.
Shaun Scott, a computer science professor at Carroll College in Helena, voted for Gianforte despite the assault charge.
But if there are lessons to be learned from Montana, Schale said, it's that a better candidate, not more money, could possibly have changed the outcome. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who won the state's presidential primary past year, and Quist had hoped to ride that same populist wave to an upset victory.
Before running for the congressional seat, Gianforte unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Montana in 2016. But it might have been too late for the incident to boost Quist.
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