Gianforte wins Montana House seat one day after body-slamming reporter

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Republican Greg Gianforte has won the special election for Montana’s sole U.S. House seat a day after being charged with assaulting a reporter.

Gianforte defeated Democrat Rob Quist on Thursday to replace Ryan Zinke, who is now President Donald Trump’s interior secretary.

Gianforte was elected despite being charged with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday after witnesses said he grabbed a reporter for the Guardian newspaper and slammed him to the ground.

The multimillionaire technology entrepreneur is an enthusiastic Trump backer, and his victory was seen as an endorsement of Trump.

Gianforte’s campaign was boosted by rallies featuring Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. plus millions of dollars in ads by Republican groups.