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Republican Gianforte leads in Montana special election

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(CNN) Republican Greg Gianforte is leading Democrat Rob Quist in the special election for Montana’s open US House seat, capping off a whirlwind final 36 hours that saw Gianforte being charged for allegedly assaulting a reporter.

With 56% of precincts reporting, Gianforte has 110,364 votes — or 49.4% of the vote, compared to Quist who has 100,043 votes — 44.8% of the vote, according to Edison Research.

Gianforte was considered the favorite heading into Thursday’s election to fill the seat once held by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, but that was before he allegedly “body-slammed” a reporter during his final campaign event in Bozeman on Wednesday.

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