According to most media outlets, Republican Greg Gianforte was expected to win Montana's seat for the US House of Representatives. While delivering his victory speech, Greg Gianforte extended his apologies to the reporter that he allegedly “body slammed.”
Greg Gianforte stated that he shouldn't have acted the way that he did in such an aggressive manner. For that, he sincerely apologized to Mr. Ben Jacobs, the reporter who was at the receiving end of the said body slam.
There were four candidates running for Montana's House seat. However, there were only two candidates who were considered as main contenders - Democrat Rob Quist and Republican Greg Gianforte.
Greg Gianforte will take the seat from Ryan Zinke who is now the acting interior secretary after Trump appointed him in March.
Gianforte is a multimillionaire entrepreneur that got his fortune from the tech industry. The Republican Party started supporting Greg Gianforte during the last weeks of the campaign race. However, Greg Gianforte kept a low profile last Thursday. According to reporters, this was due to a misdemeanor assault charge in relation to the body-slammed reporter.
It seems that the wrestling-inspired incident had little effect on Greg Gianforte's chances of winning. During the election day, the ballots were largely favoring Greg Gianforte. In fact, almost all precincts reported that Greg Gianforte had more than 50% of the ballot votes.
Yet, the fallout of Greg Gianforte's body-slamming incident hasn't gone unnoticed. Montana's three biggest newspapers withdrew their support for Greg Gianforte. Also, a Democratic lawmaker scolded Greg Gianforte in a public statement. Steve Bullock, the Democratic governor of Montana, stated that the incident was disturbing on many levels.
According to Paul Ryan, the Republican House Speaker, it's not an action that can be considered as appropriate. Nevertheless, the people of Montana made their decision. Representative Steve Strivers also added that it was a total out-of-character behavior, but we “all make mistakes.”
Trent Franks, a Republican representative hailing from the 8th District of Arizona, rejected Greg Gianforte's actions. On top of that, he blamed the liberals. According to Franks, the "left" concocted this confrontational and tense approach all throughout the country these past few months.
Rob Quist, a popular musician, was the Democratic nominee vying to win the special election. Quist is considered to be a local bluegrass musician. He was initially vying for the seat as a party outsider.
Both Greg Gianforte and Rob Quist never held an office before, though Greg Gianforte tried to run for Montana's governor seat in 2016. Needless to say, it was not his moment.
In Montana, Trump won by 21 points last November. Experts are carefully observing the special election in Montana as it serves as the barometer of the political sentiment. It may also give observers a glimpse of what may happen in the upcoming 2018 midterms.
As of the moment, Ben Jacobs is not releasing a legal statement of what he is planning to do with the incident. Jacobs suffered a few bruises and had an elbow X-ray after the incident.