Montana polls open after candidate charged with assault

(PHOTO: NBC Montana)

The polls are open in a race for Montana's only congressional seat just hours after the front-running candidate was charged with beating up a reporter. Republican Greg Gianforte has not appeared in public since he was charged with misdemeanor assault late Wednesday. A reporter from the Guardian accused the tech millionaire of slamming him to the ground and breaking his glasses in an altercation Wednesday afternoon at Gianforte's campaign headquarters in Bozeman. Gianforte's camp issued a statement hours before the charge was filed disputing reporter Ben Jacobs' account. But an audio recording Jacobs made and a Fox News crew that witnessed the altercation back up Jacobs' version. Three of Montana's biggest newspapers pulled their endorsements of Gianforte but did not endorse his opponents.