Nov 28, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Koch political network endorses Nikki Haley in GOP primary

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley attends the Thanksgiving Family Forum at the downtown Marriott on November 17, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley attends the Thanksgiving Family Forum at the downtown Marriott on Nov. 17 in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

The political network backed by billionaire Charles Koch announced Tuesday that it is supporting former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley in the 2024 Republican primary.

Why it matters: The endorsement is a boon for Haley as she looks to chip away at former President Trump's commanding lead in the race for the GOP nomination with less than two months until the pivotal Iowa caucuses.

Driving the news: "The moment we face requires a tested leader with the governing judgment and policy experience to pull our nation back from the brink," said Emily Seidel, the senior adviser to AFP Action, the leading political arm of the Koch network, in a memo on Tuesday.

  • "Nikki Haley is that leader," Seidel wrote.
  • "In sharp contrast to recent elections that were dominated by the negative baggage of Donald Trump ... Nikki Haley ... would boost candidates up and down the ballot, winning the key independent and moderate voters that Trump has no chance to win," the memo stated.

Zoom in: Americans for Prosperity Action said that Haley "will have the full weight and scope of AFP Action's unmatched grassroots army and resources."

  • That includes putting thousands of grassroots leaders and AFP activists in the field "knocking on doors and urging voters to support Nikki Haley," per the memo.
  • It also said that it will launch "extensive" mail, digital and connected television campaigns.

Catch up quick: The anti-Trump conservative network signaled earlier this year that it wouldn't support the former president's 2024 campaign.

What she's saying: "I'm honored to have the support of Americans for Prosperity Action, including its millions of grassroots members all across the country," Haley said in a statement.

  • "AFP Action's members know that there is too much at stake in this election to sit on the sidelines."
  • "We have a country to save, and I'm grateful to have AFP Action by our side," she said.

The other side: A spokesperson for DeSantis' campaign wrote on the social media platform X: "Every dollar spent on Nikki Haley's candidacy should be reported as an in-kind to the Trump campaign."

  • "No one has a stronger record of beating the establishment than Ron DeSantis, and this time will be no different," the spokesperson, Andrew Romeo, wrote.

Go deeper: GOP megadonor Ken Griffin "actively contemplating" supporting Haley

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