MATT GOURAS, Associated Press
HELENA — Montana Senate Republicans are adopting a harder edge with their new legislative leaders.
Lawmakers met Wednesday to choose caucus leaders ahead of the 2013 session. Republicans still control both chambers after last week's election.
Current Senate President Jim Peterson of Buffalo and his leadership team lost a re-election bid. The GOP instead chose Sen. Jeff Essmann for the post in the internal elections.
Essmann says he is looking forward to sitting down with Gov.-elect Steve Bullock and forging a productive relationship with the Democrat.
But newly elected Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso of Butte says it appears to him Republicans are taking another turn to the right.
He says Democrats in the chamber will be seeking compromise with moderate Republicans on issues they can get to the governor's desk.