HELENA, Mont. — Bozeman technology entrepreneur Greg Gianforte readied Tuesday to assume his new congressional duties, after naming key members of his staff and preparing to be sworn in as Montana’s only representative to the U.S. House.
Gianforte planned to fly to Washington to take his oath of office. House Speaker Paul Ryan was scheduled to administer the oath for Gianforte Wednesday morning in the House chamber.
Gianforte will have to immediately get to work, in part to rehabilitate his image after an election-eve confrontation with a reporter that led Gianforte to plead guilty last week to a misdemeanor assault charge.
The Republican won a May 25 special election to serve the remaining 18 months in the House term vacated by now-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Gianforte has already filed for re-election.
As a prelude to this swearing in, Gianforte appointed several political veterans to help run his office.
Lesley Robinson, who was Gianforte’s running mate during his failed bid for governor last year, will serve as the congressman’s state director in Montana, overseeing constituent relations and Gianforte’s office in the state.
Charles Robison will be Gianforte’s chief of staff. Robison was previously the state director for U.S. Sen. Steve Daines.
Gianforte also tapped another political veteran, Tom Schultz, as his Montana press secretary.
Schultz served for about a decade in a similar capacity for former Rep. Denny Rehberg.