Gianforte wins Montana election despite assault charge

Posted at 7:16 AM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 07:16:59-04

Republican Greg Gianforte has won a seat in the House of Representatives, despite an assault allegation the night before Montana's special election. 

Gianforte will fill the seat of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. His chances were questioned after he was accused of body slamming a reporter Wednesday night. 

Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault, and the news broke before many went to the polls. 

Democrat Rob Quist was already closing the gap in polls before the incident. But it may have happened a little too late to give him a significant boost.

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Absentee voting is popular in Montana, and 37 percent of registered voters in the state cast their ballots early this year.

Beyond the incident, Quist may have also leaned a little too far left for the state, which hasn't sent a Democrat to the House in more than 20 years. 

Still, the special election marked yet another in a Republican-leaning state that the GOP had a harder time than usual in winning. 

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