In a significant development within the political landscape, the influential political network backed by billionaire Charles Koch has officially thrown its support behind former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley as she prepares to enter the 2024 Republican primary race. This endorsement carries substantial weight, particularly as Haley seeks to challenge the commanding lead held by former President Trump in the contest for the GOP nomination, with the pivotal Iowa caucuses just around the corner.
The announcement came from Emily Seidel, senior adviser to AFP Action, the leading political arm of the Koch network. Seidel emphasized the critical nature of the present moment, asserting that the nation requires a proven leader with the experience and judgment necessary to guide the country away from its current challenges. In Seidel’s view, Nikki Haley is the ideal candidate for this role. She further contrasted Haley with past elections dominated by the divisive baggage of Donald Trump, suggesting that Haley’s candidacy could appeal to independent and moderate voters, a segment Trump struggled to win over.
Americans for Prosperity Action pledged its full support to Nikki Haley, promising to deploy its formidable grassroots army and resources on her behalf. This commitment includes thousands of grassroots leaders and activists actively canvassing neighborhoods and encouraging voters to rally behind Haley. Additionally, the organization plans to launch extensive mail, digital, and television campaigns to bolster her candidacy.
It is worth noting that the Koch network had previously indicated its reluctance to support Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign, emphasizing the need to move past the current political landscape and transition to a new era.
Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina, has gained momentum in recent polls, particularly due to her strong performances in debates. In contrast, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has faced challenges in gaining campaign momentum.
The Koch network’s endorsement is a significant development, given its ability to raise substantial funds for political races. As of this summer, it had already amassed over $70 million for this purpose, according to the New York Times.
In response to the endorsement, Nikki Haley expressed her gratitude and honor at receiving the support of Americans for Prosperity Action and its millions of grassroots members across the country. She stressed the importance of this election and the need to save the country, emphasizing that she was grateful to have AFP Action’s support.
Conversely, a spokesperson for Ron DeSantis’ campaign contested the endorsement, suggesting that every dollar spent on Nikki Haley’s candidacy should be considered an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign. The spokesperson reaffirmed DeSantis’ track record of challenging the establishment and expressed confidence in his ability to do so once again in this election.