Gov. Phil Bryant hosted former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (SC) and representatives from the Heritage Foundation at the Governor's Mansion on Tuesday night for a reception in Gov. Bryant's honor for receiving the prestigious http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/sep/15/hb-1523-brings-gov-bryant-another-award-group-says/">Conservative Leadership Award, an honor he received for signing House Bill 1523 into law (http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/jul/01/still-legal-limbo-hb-1523-down-mississippi-not-out/">even though it didn't actually become law) last month in Washington, DC.
“I am humbled to be recognized as a Conservative Leader by this outstanding organization. It's the greatest professional honor of my career," Bryant said in a press release from the Mississippi GOP. "Standing together, we can right America and make it that shining city on a hill once more. Mississippi has become a beacon to the rest of the nation.”
Demint is the president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-heritage-foundation_us_57aa2d40e4b06e52746dfea9">which has managed to influence many of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's policy platforms and U.S. Supreme Court nominee list. Demint left Congress back in 2012 to take his role as president of the foundation.
"I'm leaving the Senate now, but I'm not leaving the fight. I've decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas," Demint said https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/press-release-demint-to-leave-senate-to-lead-the-heritage-foundation/2012/12/06/b011fe56-3fbb-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html?tid=a_inl">in a statement in 2012.
Part of that "fight in the conservative movement" came to Mississippi during the 2016 legislative session when the Mississippi Legislature passed House Bill 1523. Demint wrote an article (http://dailysignal.com/2016/04/06/the-extraordinary-courage-of-gov-phil-bryant/">posted on the Daily Signal, the media arm of the Heritage Foundation) praising Gov. Bryant's "courage" back in April for signing the bill into law.