Newly elected United States congressman Greg Gianforte apologises for assaulting Guardian reporter


(Tommy Martino/The Missoulian via AP).

US Republican Greg Gianforte has won a special congressional election in Montana, just hours after he was charged with assaulting a United Kingdom reporter.

(AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan).

Gianforte seems to be performing equally in early votes (probably about 70 percent of the total) and election day votes, despite some GOP fears that election day voters would strongly respond to the candidate being charged with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday night.

"The people of Montana deserve to finally have representation in the U.S. House", party chairwoman Nancy Keenan said in a statement.

Gianforte won the election by 50 percent against his democratic rival Rob Quist, who managed to garner 43 percent of the votes.

Gianforte thanked the voters after his win over Democrat Rob Quist.

Quist eventually raised more than $6 million but struggled to come back from the early onslaught of negative publicity and advertising.

National Democrats took heat for not investing much in this race. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle refused to endorse either candidate. A run-off election is scheduled for next month in Georgia between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel after Mr Ossoff fell just short of winning outright.

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For Democrats, there is frustration that despite the energy and activism from their base voters, they have yet to score a special election upset this cycle. Quist: a first-time candidate and Montana folk singer who'd amassed moderate Montana fame in the 1970s as a member of the Mission Mountain Wood Band.

Gianforte, who will defend the seat during next year's mid-term elections, sounded contrite.

"We like to win, don't get me wrong". And for that, I'm sorry, Mr. "We'll keep up the enthusiasm, no question about that".

New York Magazine cited sources close to KECI's news director, Julie Weindel, who told NBC News, "The person that tweeted [Jacobs] and was allegedly body slammed is a reporter for a politically biased publication". "Jacobs was asked to leave", Scanlon said.

Montanans are "sending a wake-up call to the Washington D.C. establishment", Gianforte told a jubilant crowd outside his campaign headquarters, after multiple outlets called the race.

Gianforte, a technology entrepreneur, jumped into headlines across the U.S. Wednesday night after political reporter Ben Jacobs accused him of "body slamming" him during an attempted interview.

Prior to his assault charge, Gianforte was significantly supported by Trump's inner circle.

Audio of the incident appeared to capture the altercation, with Gianforte shouting "get the hell out of here" after the scuffle.