Gianforte Shakes Off Assault Charge, Wins Montana Race by 6 Points

May 26, 2017

Republican Greg Gianforte will become Montana's at-large congressional representative after winning Thursday's special election by about 6 points over Democrat Rob Quist. The race, already more competitive than expected, was thrown into last-minute turmoil Wednesday night as Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault after an altercation with a reporter. It appears that incident didn't have a huge impact on the outcome, with nearly 2/3 of the total votes cast in the election submitted by mail prior to Election Day.

Gianforte apologized for the incident, and to the reporter by name, while speaking to supporters Thursday night. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 7th. 

Donald Trump won the state by 21 points in November, while Ryan Zinke was reelected to this House seat by about 16 points. Zinke resigned to become Secretary of the Interior on March 1st.

Upcoming Special Elections

Once Gianforte is sworn in, Republicans will have 239 seats in the House; Democrats 193, with three vacancies. Those seats will be filled over the next month:

  • California 34th District, June 6th: Two Democrats advanced to the runoff for this seat, vacated by Xavier Becerra when he became the state's Attorney General. Safe Democrat
  • Georgia's 6th District, June 20th: The most expensive House race in U.S. history will finally be decided as Democrat Jon Ossoff faces Republican Karen Handel. Polling for the race has been close, although the most recent one had Ossoff up by 7. The seat became open when Tom Price resigned to become Secretary of Health & Human Services.Toss-Up
  • South Carolina's 5th District, June 20th: This seat became vacant when Mick Mulvaney resigned to become Director of the Office of Management and Budget. In the only poll we've seen for this race, Republican Ralph Norman had a 17 point lead on Democrat Archie Parnell in this heavily Republican district.  Likely/Safe Republican
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