May 25, 2017

Montana newspapers rescind Gianforte endorsements

Bobby Caina Calvan / AP

Three of Montana's biggest local newspapers — the Missoulian, the Billings Gazette and Helena Independent Record — have all rescinded their endorsements of Greg Gianforte, the state's GOP candidate running for Congress, after he allegedly bodyslammed a reporter Wednesday, the night before Montana's special election. Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault later that night, and is due to appear in court next month.

MISSOULIAN: "The Republican candidate for Congress not only lost the endorsement of this newspaper Wednesday night when, according to witnesses, he put his hands around the throat of a reporter asking him about his health care stance, threw him to the ground and punched him — he should lose the confidence of all Montanans."
BILLINGS GAZATTE: "While there are still questions left unanswered about GOP House hopeful Greg Gianforte's altercation with Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, eyewitness accounts, law enforcement investigations and records are all shocking, disturbing and without precedent. That's why The Billings Gazette editorial board is also doing something without precedent: We're rescinding our editorial endorsement of Greg Gianforte... We will not stand by that kind of violence, period."
HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD: "Democracy cannot exist without a free press, and both concepts are under attack by Republican U.S. House Candidate Greg Gianforte... While we have always had serious concerns about Gianforte, which were noted in our endorsement of him, we are formally withdrawing that endorsement in light of Wednesday's developments. We take our endorsements seriously and retracting an endorsement even more seriously, but we cannot in good faith continue to support this candidate."

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