Trump Campaigned Hard For Republicans In Montana. Did It Work?
Over the past few months, President Trump campaigned hard against Montana’s Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester. Tester drew the ire of the president after he blocked Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
But on Wednesday morning, the Democratic senator narrowly won his re-election bid.
“I will tell you, I’m as happy for this race to be over as anybody else,” Tester said during his victory speech in Great Falls, Montana Wednesday morning.
Trump also stumped in Montana for Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, who plead guilty to assaulting a reporter on the eve of a special election last year.
Trump later praised Gianforte for the incident, saying “any guy who can do a bodyslam, he’s my kinda guy.”
At Gianforte’s election night party, friend and supporter Troy Downing, who lost a Republican primary race for U.S. Senate, said Gianforte's assault of a reporter was blown out of proportion.
“I’ve heard people say that he reacted how they would if somebody would’ve been forcing a recorder in their face in a place that he had asked them to not be at,” Downing said.
Gianforte beat his Democratic opponent Kathleen Williams and will head back to Washington for his first full term. Tester won the race for what will be his third term in the Senate.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.