HELENA, Mont. -

A series of emails shows plans by conservative Republicans to take over leadership of the state Senate from a more moderate faction.
    
The documents obtained by The Great Falls Tribune also outline a long-term strategy that includes "changing the face of the Montana Supreme Court" and remapping legislative districts to favor Republicans.
    
Sen. Jeff Essmann of Billings wrote last September the strategy could lead to a conservative majority in the House and Senate that would allow them to adopt conservative legislation that would be upheld by the Supreme Court.
    
Essmann was elected Senate president over former president Jim Peterson in November.
    
Essmann and others involved said Tuesday that the email exchange shows only that there is a philosophical tug-of-war between conservatives and moderates within the Republican party.