Greg Gianforte is the declared winner of a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives despite being charged with misdemeanor assault less than 24 hours before.

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Gianforte had been a heavy favorite heading into the day of the election. Nearly half of registered voters had already sent in their absentee ballots prior to Thursday. Final votes are still being counted, but the election was much closer than expected. As of 12:00 a.m., with 87% of ballots counted, Gianforte has a lead of over 25,000 votes.

During his victory speech, Gianforte also publicly apologized to the reporter he allegedly body-slammed.

"Last night i made a mistake...and... took an action that I cannot take back. I'm not proud of what happened. I should not have reacted the way that I did, and for that I'm sorry. I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that I am sorry, Ben Jacobs."