The Latest: GOP Chair: Altercation not affecting election

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on the misdemeanor assault case against Greg Gianforte, a Republican candidate for a Montana congressional seat in a special election Thursday. (all times local):

10:10 p.m.

The chairman of the Montana Republican Party says the charges against GOP candidate Greg Gianforte for assaulting a reporter do not appear to be affecting the special election for the state’s sole House seat.

State Rep. Jeff Essmann said Thursday night that Gianforte “is a human being, and he acted like one” during Wednesday’s altercation with Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

Gianforte was cited for misdemeanor assault after Jacobs said he slammed him to the ground and broke his glasses as he was asking questions about health care.

Essmann arrived at Gianforte’s campaign party in Bozeman in an ebullient mood after polls closed Thursday night. Yellowstone County, where Essmann lives, was posting a sizable lead for Gianforte in the early results.

The crowd cheered as the results were projected on a large screen in the ballroom.

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8:03 p.m.

Montana polls are closing, a day after Republican candidate Greg Gianforte was charged with assaulting a reporter.

Witnesses say Gianforte, a wealthy technology executive, grabbed Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, by the neck on Wednesday in a Bozeman office and threw him to the ground.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office cited him for misdemeanor assault and he has until June 7 to appear in court.

Gianforte was keeping a low profile Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

He’s running against Democrat Rob Quist and Libertarian Mark Wicks.

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4:05 p.m.

A county attorney in Montana says he will review the case involving a Republican congressional candidate accused of shoving a reporter to the ground on the eve of a special election.

Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert said Thursday he will set aside celebrity and hype and look at the facts surrounding Greg Gianforte’s altercation with Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The…

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