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Gianforte, praised by Trump for attacking a reporter, wins reelection

Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) has won reelection after President Trump praised him at a rally last month for assaulting a reporter.

Gianforte pleaded guilty to assault, with no jail time, after he threw a Guardian reporter to the ground and punched him during his last race — a special election to Montana’s 1st District in early 2017.

The congressman apologized for the attack, but Trump turned it into an applause line when he campaigned in Missoula in mid-October. “Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of — he’s my guy,” the president said.

With nearly all precincts reporting, Gianforte held a 7-point lead over Democrat Kathleen Williams by midday Wednesday, when the Associated Press projected him to win.

Montana’s Senate race, where Democratic incumbent Jon Tester holds a thin lead over Matt Rosendale, has not yet been called.

Midterm election updates: Reaction and results

Democrats took the House, Republicans held the Senate, and key races around the country were still too close to call.

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