GOP candidate charged with assaulting reporter

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Thursday’s special election for Montana’s sole congressional seat got a last-minute twist when the Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte, was charged with misdemeanor assault.

Gianforte was cited for allegedly grabbing a reporter by the throat and throwing him to the ground in his campaign office Wednesday night. The reporter, Ben Jacobs of The Guardian, was asking Gianforte about the Republican health care bill. Three Fox News employees say they witnessed the attack, which was also captured on an audio recording.

Gianforte’s campaign blamed Jacobs for the incident, saying he was the aggressor.

Many voters cast their ballot early so it’ll be hard to know the impact of the charge on the election results. Authorities said Jacobs’ injuries weren’t severe enough for a felony assault charge.