House GOP sticking with Montana candidate despite assault

Posted at 2:12 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 14:12:17-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are sticking with their candidate in Montana’s special House race even though he was charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly slamming a reporter to the ground.

Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that Greg Gianforte should apologize, but the GOP leader did not disavow Gianforte’s candidacy or call on him to drop out.

And Ryan indicated that Gianforte, a wealthy tech company founder, would be welcome in the House Republican conference if he wins what appeared to be a tight race Thursday against Democrat Rob Quist.

It was unclear what impact the late-breaking news would have on the election, especially since a significant portion of voters had cast their ballots early.

Montana is a Republican-friendly state where Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by a wide margin.