Government & Politics

Last night, the Republican candidate to fill Montana’s vacant U.S. House seat reportedly body-slammed a political reporter from international news outlet The Guardian.

Greg Gianforte was later charged with misdemeanor assault. But did the “body slam” affect how people are voting today? We sent reporters out to Bozeman, Missoula and the Flathead Valley to find out.

Greg Gianforte is not responding to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s request for an interview in the investigation that led to him being charged with misdemeanor assault.

According to a Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian, Gianforte "body slammed" him as Jacobs attempted to interview him Wednesday night.

RTDNA

National media organizations, just last week, launched an effort to talk publicly about the role of journalists to hold elected officials and candidates accountable.

The effort was punctuated by the news Republican U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte yesterday was charged with misdemeanor assault for "body slamming" a reporter. 

Updated at 10 p.m. ET

Polls have closed in the closely watched Montana special election. The race was upended in the final hours following an altercation between the Republican congressional candidate, Greg Gianforte, and a reporter, adding even more uncertainty to an unusually tight contest.

(Flickr/Cory Doctorow) (https://flic.kr/p/ehJgea)

Reaction in Montana and around the world to the Gianforte misdemeanor assault charge has been varied. 

California GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter speaking to the press Thursday on Capitol Hill said assaulting a reporter is not appropriate behavior "unless the reporter deserved it," according to a tweet posted by Associated Press reporter Mary Clare Jalonick. 

Montana Standard editor David McComber says he's not surprised by the level of vitriol against the media, and it's not a recent development.

Rachel Hergett

*Updated Thurs. 5/25 at 2:30 p.m. 

GOP Candidate Greg Gianforte faces misdemeanor assault charges for "body slamming" a reporter for The Guardian at his campaign headquarters last night, on the eve of today’s special election to fill Montana’s lone U.S. House Seat. He must appear in Gallatin County Justice Court by June 7. 

Crime reporter Whitney Bermes for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle first heard the assault report on a police scanner, as she was packing up to leave the newsroom and go home for the evening.

This week Republican U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte has been telling his supporters that the race is, “closer than it should be.” MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney dropped in on a Gianforte get-out-the-vote event at Montana GOP headquarters in Helena today.

How to find your polling place, return your absentee ballot, or vote in person in Montana's special election:

The election to fill Montana's U.S. House seat is Thursday, May 25. You have until 8:00 p.m. to cast your ballot.

In the final hours leading up to tomorrow’s special election to fill Montana’s lone U.S. House seat, Democratic candidate Rob Quist is squeezing in a few final visits with voters, and making use of social media. 

Quist’s campaign Facebook and Twitter pages are flooded with testimonials from voters:

Pages