Montana Democrats line up to take down body-slamming congressman Greg Gianforte


Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte already has a huge crowd of Democrats competing for his at-large Montana seat.

First-term Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte of Montana gained national notoriety last year for body-slamming a reporter on the eve of the special election — an incident for which he was convicted of misdemeanor assault even as he was seated in the House.

Democrats are now jockeying to take him on.

Among the candidates who have thrown their hat into the ring are John Heenan, a businessman and attorney from Billings; Lynda Moss, the former majority whip of the Montana State Senate; and Grant Kier, the former director of a Missoula-based nonprofit that preserves public lands in Western Montana.

On Thursday, these candidates literally lined up to register for the Democratic primary:

The crowded field of Democratic challengers reflects an overwhelming enthusiasm to remove Gianforte from office.

Montana overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump in 2016. However, Democrats have frequently won statewide races there, including the past four gubernatorial elections. It is entirely possible for Democrats to pick up this seat in a year when public resentment against the Republican Party is at overwhelming levels.

As the midterms approach, Trump is not the only politician driving the GOP backlash. Many of the party’s down-ballot actors are now targets in their own right.