MISSOULA, Mont. - Republican Greg Gianforte has won the special election for Montana's sole U.S. House seat.
Gianforte defeated Democrat Rob Quist on Thursday to replace Ryan Zinke, who is now President Donald Trump's interior secretary.
Gianforte was elected despite being charged with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday after witnesses said he grabbed a reporter for the Guardian newspaper and slammed him to the ground.
The multimillionaire technology entrepreneur is an enthusiastic Trump backer, and his victory was seen as an endorsement of Trump.
Gianforte's campaign was boosted by rallies featuring Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr. plus millions of dollars in ads by Republican groups.
Montana voters headed to the polls to decide a nationally watched Congressional election amid uncertainty in Washington over President Donald Trump's agenda and his handling of the country's affairs.
There are approximately 700,000 registered voters in Montana, but before polls opened Thursday morning state election officials say close to 260,000 Montanans had voted absentee.
The Secretary of State's Office says they expected about 150,000 people statewide to cast their vote in person Thursday.