Greg Gianforte, Republican, Wins Amid Assault Charge : NPR

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters during a campaign stop at Lions Park on Tuesday in Great Falls, Mont.

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Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters during a campaign stop at Lions Park on Tuesday in Great Falls, Mont.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Updated at 4:55 a.m. ET

Republican Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana’s lone congressional seat on Thursday despite an election eve misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly body-slamming a reporter.

Gianforte had been silent in the wake of the allegations, with his campaign only releasing a statement claiming that The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs had been the aggressor. But speaking at his victory party in Bozeman shortly after the race was called, Gianforte admitted he was in the wrong and offered an apology to Jacobs.

“[Wednesday] night I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can’t take back, and I’m not proud of what happened,” Gianforte said. “I should not have responded in the way that I did, and for that I’m sorry.

“I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that I’m sorry Mr. Ben Jacobs,” the congressman-elect continued. “That’s not the person I am, and that’s not the way I’ll lead in this state.”

Gianforte has defeated Democrat Rob Quist to win the seat formerly held by Ryan Zinke, who President Trump tapped earlier this year to be his Interior Secretary. According to The…

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