Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte was elected to the House of Representatives yesterday, and this is monumental for at least two reasons. His win represents a temperature-taking of America's heartland regarding the Republican party—it suggests they still stand behind President Donald Trump—as well as a ringing endorsement of violence against the press.
Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday, the night before the election, after he brutalized a journalist at a campaign event in front of several witnesses. Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian, asked the Republican candidate a question about the polarizing healthcare bill traveling through the Senate right now; Gianforte responded by "bodyslamming" Jacobs and screaming that he was sick and tired of questions. He was cited for misdemeanor assault.
Despite the chilling recording of Gianforte's attack, and his statement blaming Jacobs for the violence against him, the candidate won the seat yesterday by about six points. Early voting was certainly a factor in the win: by Wednesday night, more than half of voters had already cast their ballots in the race due to the state's mail-in voting law. It was difficult to determine on election night to what extent voters who cast a ballot Thursday were influenced by the altercation.
In his victory speech, Gianforte gave a more thorough apology to Jacobs. "When you make a mistake, you have to own up to it. That's the Montana way," he said. "Last night, I made a mistake. I took an action I can't take back and I am not proud of what happened."
Gianforte must appear in court by June 7 on the misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $500 fine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
Here's Why Matt Damon Thinks Cillian Murphy Is the "Worst Dinner Companion"
"Yeah, I mean, I’ve always been like that, I think,” the 'Peaky Blinders' actor responded.
By Danielle Campoamor
Zendaya Donates $100,000 to a Place That's Incredibly Meaningful to Her
She said it launched her career.
By Danielle Campoamor
Fans Think Justin Timberlake’s New Single “Drown” Is, Once Again, All About Britney Spears
Third time’s a charm?
By Rachel Burchfield
36 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
It's just one of the many ways women still aren't equal to men.
By Brooke Knappenberger
How New York's First Female Governor Plans to Fight for Women If Reelected
Kathy Hochul twice came to power because men resigned amid sexual harassment scandals. Here, how she's leading differently.
By Emily Tisch Sussman
Why the 2022 Midterm Elections Are So Critical
As we blaze through a highly charged midterm election season, Swing Left Executive Director Yasmin Radjy highlights rising stars who are fighting for women’s rights.
By Tanya Benedicto Klich
Tammy Duckworth: 'I’m Mad as Hell' About the Lack of Federal Action on Gun Safety
The Illinois Senator won't let the memory of the Highland Park shooting just fade away.
By Sen. Tammy Duckworth
Roe Is Gone. We Have to Keep Fighting.
Democracy always offers a path forward even when we feel thrust into the past.
By Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland, hosts of Pantsuit Politics Podcast
The Supreme Court's Mississippi Abortion Rights Case: What to Know
The case could threaten Roe v. Wade.
By Megan DiTrolio
Sex Trafficking Victims Are Being Punished. A New Law Could Change That.
Victims of sexual abuse are quietly criminalized. Sara's Law protects kids that fight back.
By Dr. Devin J. Buckley and Erin Regan
My Family and I Live in Navajo Nation. We Don't Have Access to Clean Running Water
"They say that the United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Why are citizens still living with no access to clean water?"
By Amanda L. As Told To Rachel Epstein