Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House in an early test of support for the Trump Administration. His win came one day after Gianforte was charged for assaulting a reporter.
In his victory speech at a Bozeman hotel, the Republican second-time candidate Gianforte told a crowd of supporters that Montana just sent a wakeup call to the political establishment in Washington D.C.
“Montana sent a strong message tonight," he said, "that we want a congressman who will work with president Trump to make America and Montana great again.”
The race was seen by Democrats as a possible referendum on President Trump, if the party could flip the long held republican seat.
Gainforte also apologized for his actions leading to local law enforcement citing him with misdemeanor assault against a reporter for the Guardian newspaper. Gianforte has been ordered to appear in local court by June 7th.
Democratic Candidate Rob Quist spoke to his supporters soon after the race was called.
“I called Greg Gianforte and congratulated on his victory. And I talked to him about how important it is to continue to reach out to all Montanans and listen to their comments and I know that Montanans will hold Mr. Gianforte accountable,” Quist said, to loud applause.
“This fight does not stop just because of the result of this election. And we will remain vigilant and will take on the rigged system that benefits the people at the top at the expense of the middle class.”