With more that 150 votes on the first ballot, Bozeman businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte has been chosen by the Republican Party to face off against musician and political newcomer Rob Quist for the U.S. House seat vacated by Ryan Zinke.

Sue Orr of Missoula was at the convention in Helena for KGVO news and was able to talk to Gianforte immediately following the ballot.

"I am honored and humbled by the confidence placed on me by the Republican party, and we look forward to going back to DC and draining the swamp," Gianforte said. "We need a strong voice for Montana so we can preserve our way of life. The number one thing I heard over the past two years as I traveled over every corner of the state was there's just too much federal overreach, so we're going to work to get the power back to the people."

Gianforte said he looks forward to the challenge of facing Democrat Rob Quist in the special election on May 25.

"I was surprised at the selection," he said. "Here's an individual who is in favor of sanctuary cities, advocated for a national gun registry, and said everyone would vote for socialism if we just picked the better name, but I don't think those are Montana values," he said. "I don't think Montana wants to send a court musician back to help Nancy Pelosi. It's going to be a pretty clear choice in this election, which will be a referendum on Donald Trump, and I want to go back to DC to help him advance his agenda. Or, do they want to send someone back who's going to work against Donald Trump, and I think that's a pretty simple decision."

The special election is scheduled for May 25. The legislature has not yet decided if it will be a mail-in ballot only, or a traditional polling place election.

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