Republican Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana's open US House seat, defeating Democrat Rob Quist and capping off a whirlwind final 36 hours of his campaign that saw Gianforte being charged for allegedly assaulting a reporter. Gianforte won with over 50 percent of the vote.
Until now, Greg Gianforte, a candidate in Montana's special congressional election, was known as a multimillionaire tech entrepreneur who once ran for governor. But the Republican redefined himself Wednesday when he was charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly body slamming a reporter just hours before the polls open. Here's a bit of background on Gianforte.
Gianforte, 56, started RightNow Technologies decades ago from his home in Bozeman, and sold it to Oracle in 2012.
He mounted a failed bid last year for Montana governor, spending an estimated $5.1 million of his own money on the race. Asked why he wants to serve in Congress, Gianforte told CNN that he would be a "strong voice for Montana in DC."
The altercation with the journalist unfolded Wednesday at Gianforte's campaign headquarters in Bozeman. Gianforte allegedly body slammed Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, and broke his glasses, according to an audio recording of the event and eyewitness accounts. Gianforte can be heard yelling "Get the hell out of here."
The Trump administration has lent plenty of support to Gianforte. Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. both have campaigned for him, and the President just recorded a robocall in a push to turn out GOP voters.