UPDATE: Republican candidate Greg Gianforte managed to weather the storm of the late breaking scandal after he was charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly assaulting a journalist to win a tightly fought race in the special election to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
With 100 percent reporting, Gianforte took 50.2 percent of the vote, with Democrat Rob Quist taking 44.1 percent, and Libertarian Mark Wicks receiving 5.7 percent.
Gianforte apologized for the violent act he committed, but only after winning the election. He will appear in court sometime between now and June 7.
Montana’s special election seemed to be a long shot for Democrats, hoping political novice Rob Quist could nab the open Congressional seat to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Republican Greg Gianforte, an entrepreneurial tech billionaire, seemed the obvious favorite in a state that went big for Trump and the seat hasn’t been held by a Democrat in two decades.
Jacobs previously authored a piece on Gianforte exposing his business ties to Russian companies that have been sanctioned by the United States. This while the Trump administration grapples with an investigation into its own ties with Russia.
How this violent turn of events will affect the race will be seen tonight, as voters have had their say and the results will come in, with national implications as the Democrats hope to give wind at their sails going into the 2018 midterm elections where they hope to win back the House.
This election has taken on particular weight after Democrat Jon Ossoff narrowly missed winning the 50 percent needed in a special election in Georgia to avoid a runoff in June, which will now take place and could be a more difficult election for him to win.
You can watch BuzzFeed News‘ live coverage of the special election results below.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) May 26, 2017