BOZEMAN, Mont. — Republican businessman Greg Gianforte won Montana’s sole House district in a special election Thursday, keeping a seat in Republican hands despite facing assault charges for allegedly attacking a reporter who’d asked him about the GOP’s health-care bill.
In his victory speech, Gianforte admitted to the attack and apologized for it.
“I shouldn’t have treated that reporter that way,” he told supporters at his rally here.
The victory, called by the Associated Press, offered some relief for Republicans, who have struggled to sell their Obamacare overhaul, the American Health Care Act. But it was a closer call than the party had expected when it tapped the multimillionaire to run in a state President Trump carried by 20 points — and when Democrats nominated folk singer Rob Quist instead of an experienced politician. With 83 percent of the vote counted, Gianforte led Quist 51 percent to 44 percent, according to preliminary returns.
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