A former Missouri Freedom Caucus member is creating a new path for herself. Joplin-area Sen. Jill Carter left the ultra conservative caucus last week.

On social media, Carter said the values and priorities that some caucus members profess to champion are not reflected in conversations, behaviors, or their strategy.

“While I remain loyal to the same conservative principles and the advancement of legislation that benefits our state and my constituents, I can no longer, in good conscience, be part of behaviors, and actions behind the scenes that defames grassroots, and violates the needs of my constituents,” she said in her statement.

Carter told Missourinet affiliate KZRG in Joplin that being lockstep with the group did not allow her to have her community at the forefront.

“How we went about doing what we were doing was the biggest question or the biggest concern I had,” said Carter. “When you go on the floor, and you just start filibustering, and you have not done your due diligence to go to caucus meetings and talk to individual senators, I’m willing to go to the mat for what I believe in, without a doubt, but I’m going to first have conversations.”

Carter said her decision to leave the group gives her greater flexibility to advance legislation that benefits her constituents.

“There were a few situations where I felt like for the for the sake of community, I wanted to unite with people that were similar to me. But I also realized that I was giving up my autonomy and my ability to advocate for the needs of my district specifically,” said Carter.

She said her conservative values have not changed.

“You know, I always say I try to vote my conscience first, my constituency second, and my caucus third,” Carter told KZRG.

Freedom Caucus member Denny Hoskins, of Warrensburg, said he wish Carter nothing but the best but said, “being a conservative fighter against the Jeff City swamp and Uniparty is not for everyone.”

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