Some GOP Senators Form Conservative Coalition

Jackson, Miss. Eleven of the 32 Republicans in the Mississippi Senate say they're forming a conservative coalition to help evaluate bills.

In announcing their plan, they said they're not disgruntled. They also say they're inviting others to join, but it's unclear whether that will happen.

The coalition has eight freshmen and three senators who have served longer but were not appointed to top leadership posts by Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.

The coalition chairman is second-term Sen. Chris McDaniel, of Ellisville, who's often mentioned as a potential candidate for statewide office such as U.S. senator.

In addition to McDaniel, members are Michael Watson of Pascagoula, Perry Lee of Mendenhall, Phillip Gandy of Waynesboro, Josh Harkins of Flowood, Angela Burks Hill of Picayune, Will Longwitz of Madison, Chris Massey of Nesbit, David Parker of Olive Branch, Tony Smith of Picayune and Melanie Sojourner of Natchez.

Republican Sen. Terry Burton, of Newton, says he won't join the coalition because he doesn't like it when lawmakers break into cliques. Burton is in his sixth term and is an ally of Reeves.