Ryan Zinke, who left to become Interior secretary. The altercation occurred when Jacobs tried to ask Gianforte about the CBO score of the Republicans' health care bill.
Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault and could face additional, more serious charges once prosecutors review the evidence.
Gianforte broke his silence at his victory celebration Thursday night, where he apologized to Jacobs.
"I'm sick and exhausted of you guys", Gianforte said. "That's the Montana way". From a polling place in Bozeman Thursday, BuzzFeed's Alexis Levinson tweeted that "I haven't found anyone yet who changed their mind because of last night's events". "I should not have responded the way I did and for that I am sorry".More news: Trump's Communications Director Mike Dubke Set to Leave White House
Even if he were found guilty and served the maximum sentence-six months in Montana-Gianforte could still serve in Congress.
And while Democrats may well need a win on the board in order to prove that the protests and marches against Trump can translate at the ballot box, the trend line is in their favor and should be worrisome for Republicans, as the Cook Political Report's David Wasserman noted.
The Montana race focused on Quist's history of financial problems and Gianforte's stance on House Republicans' effort to dismantle Obamacare. "Ben Jacobs", the congressman-elect continued. And Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor said of his fellow Republican: "No question the behavior is unacceptable".
Montana has traditionally been a "Red State" in presidential elections, but it's not impossible for Democrats to win in the state. Quist declined to comment on the incident. Three of Montana's biggest newspapers rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte and Democratic lawmakers publicly scolded the GOP's candidate. "The last time you were here you did the same thing". When the votes were tallied Thursday night, Republican Greg Gianforte edged Democratic challenger Rob Quist by a seven point margin (189,473 Republican votes, 166,483 Democratic votes). Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of NY, for example, returned to Congress facing an indictment for federal tax fraud and kept his seat even after he pleaded guilty, only leaving after voluntarily resigning. Sen.
Republicans said the outcome lifts their hopes approaching two other special elections next month in Georgia and SC.