Virtually every Republican state elected officials was present when State Senator Terry Burton made his announcement on the stops of Newton's City Hall.
"I will be a candidate for the state Senate in the 2003 election and I will be running for that office as a Republican," said Sen. Burton.
Then Burton, who was first elected in 1992, gave his reasons for making the change.
"I am officially changing my party affiliation to join those who share a similar philosophy with me and those I represent. We share a philosophy that more government is not the answer to Mississippi's problems," Burton said.
Then Burton issued an invitation for others to join him.
"Another reason I wanted to ask you here today is the encourage anyone who is considering a run for elected office at any level, local, state, district in 2003 to join the true party of inclusion," Burton said. "The party that truly does welcome varying opinions and does not force ideals outside the main stream thought processes of Mississippi and America on you or those you want to represent. Come on in, the water's fine!"
Lieutenant Governor Amy Tuck, who recently switched her affiliation to the Republican Party, praised Burton.
"When you have a true friend that is now a member of the Mississippi Republican Party, Senator Burton we welcome you. You are a tremendous asset to this party," said Tuck.
Central Highway Commissioner Dick Hall put it this way.
"Terry C., my good friend and former colleague," said Hall. "Terry C., it's about time! This is where you belong and we're mighty glad to have you!"