Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana has suspended in-person campaigning for his gubernatorial bid in the state after his wife and running mate attended an event with Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. and a top fundraiser for the Trump campaign who has tested positive for coronavirus, a spokesperson for Gianforte’s campaign told CNN on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Susan Gianforte and Kristen Juras, who is running for lieutenant governor, attended an event with Guilfoyle, who tested positive in South Dakota before she was set to attend President Donald Trump’s event at Mount Rushmore Friday night.
“Out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of others, they will self-quarantine, be tested for COVID-19, and suspend in-person campaign events pending test results,” the spokesperson said.
Gianforte was in Washington, DC, this week during the event as the House was in session, the spokesperson said.
This is Gianforte’s second bid for the governor’s mansion after losing four years ago to current Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat who’s running for Senate this year. Gianforte will face Democratic Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney in November.
A loyal supporter of Trump, Gianforte made national headlines during his 2017 special election to Congress when he was accused of assaulting a reporter. Trump praised Gianforte’s behavior at the time, saying, “any guy who can do a body slam … he’s my guy.” Gianforte eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault.
Gianforte now joins a host of members of Congress who have had to self-quarantine in the past few months due to coming into contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus, while several members have tested positive themselves. Most recently, Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander announced a 14-day self-quarantine in May after a staffer in his office tested positive.
This story has been updated with additional information.