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Gianforte surges in Montana’s US House race

Posted at 10:24 AM, Nov 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-07 00:29:09-05

MISSOULA – Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte is steadily widening a lead against Democratic challenger Kathleen Williams in the battle for Montana’s lone US House seat.

Gianforte now has a 3-point lead (89,067 votes) over Williams (82,621) votes.

Click here to view the latest election results.

Gianforte is running for his first full term in the U.S. House.

Gianforte is a former software company founder who moved to Bozeman in the mid-1990’s. He and his wife Susan co-founded RightNow Technologies.  The company employed more than 500 people when it was sold to Oracle Corp. in 2012 for $1.8 billion.

He sought the Governer’s Office in 2016 but was defeated by incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock.

Gianforte first won Montana’s sole congressional seat in a May 2017 special election — the day after he threw to the ground and punched reporter Ben Jacobs of the Guardian, at a campaign event in Bozeman. Gianforte later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.

He has closely aligned himself with President Trump and the administration’s policies. He backed the 2017 GOP tax-cut bill, supports increased military spending and securing the border.

Democrat Kathleen Willams, also from Bozeman, challenged Gianforte for the seat. She moved to Montana in the 1990’s

Williams served in the Montana Legislature from 2011 to 2016 before winning a surprise victory in the six-way Democratic U.S. House primary.

Her primary focus while running has been on fixing health care and she said she would have voted against the GOP tax-cut bill.

She also highlighted her record in the legislature including her work on bills that required health insurers to cover the cost of clinical trials for cancer patients and one that enabled the creation of more local retail-food producers.

Libertarian Elinor Swanson also appeared on the ballot.

-information from Mike Dennison included in this report.