The chairman of the House GOP’s political arm on Thursday reiterated his support of House candidate Greg Gianforte, a day after the Montana Republican was cited for misdemeanor assault after allegedly attacking a reporter.
“We need to let the facts surrounding this incident unfold,” Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told McClatchy in a statement.
“Today’s special election is bigger than any one person; it’s about the views of all Montanans,” he added. “They deserve to have their voices heard in Washington.”
Gianforte faces Democratic nominee Rob Quist on Thursday in a special election in Montana that was already receiving national attention before the alleged assault. Gianforte had been favored to win the race, though Republicans worried his lead had slipped in recent weeks.
Many GOP strategists say they don’t know how Wednesday’s incident will affect the vote – most voters in the state have already cast their ballot.
Stivers said Gianforte, who last year mounted a failed run for governor of Montana, acted “out of character.”
“From what I know of Greg Gianforte, this was totally out of character, but we all make mistakes,” Stivers said.