Koch Network Halts Funding Nikki Haley's Presidential Bid After South Carolina Primary Loss

Koch Network Halts Funding Nikki Haley's Presidential Bid After South Carolina Primary Loss
Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley | Getty Images | Photo by Michael M. Santiago

Americans for Prosperity Action, which is backed by conservative billionaire Charles Koch, announced on Sunday that it will stop funding Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign. The announcement came a day after she lost to former President Donald Trump in her home-state primary in South Carolina. The organization said it still endorses Haley for president, but its support will now be symbolic with words and not cash. The officials also stated that AFP Action has decided to refocus its mission on United States Senate and House races, according to an internal email memo from CEO Emily Seidel, reviewed by Politico.



 

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The Koch Network’s flagship political group channeled its support to Haley, a Donald Trump opponent in 2024. However, after her loss, AFP Action withdrew its spending toward the presidential primary.

The former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador said that she will continue with her campaign. In the staff memo, AFP Action CEO Emily Seidel wrote that the group had to “take stock” of its 2024 elections strategy.



 

“Nikki Haley has shown us again and again that we made the right decision in supporting her candidacy and she continues to have our strong endorsement, but given the challenges in the primary states ahead, we don’t believe any outside group can make a material difference to widen her path to victory,” Seidel wrote in the email according to The Washington Post.

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The campaigns for both Trump and Haley saw a big expenditure at the start of the year, according to Federal Election Commission filings from January. However, AFP Action’s decision to move its efforts away from the presidential primary is a big blow to Haley, who is already struggling in the primaries.

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The former South Carolina governor has taken several hits since the start of the election year. Previously, billionaire Reid Hoffman also pulled back from funding Haley’s presidential bid.

Despite the setbacks, Haley has announced that she will continue with her campaign through Super Tuesday on March 5. Her campaign said that AFP Action’s decision to halt the funding has not changed the outlook of her campaign and she still has the resources to stay afloat.

“AFP is a great organization and ally in the fight for freedom and conservative government. We thank them for their tremendous help in this race,” Haley’s campaign said in a statement, according to CNBC. Her campaign further claimed that they had over $1 million coming in from grassroots conservatives in the last 24 hours.

AFP Action officials had previously stressed that the Senate would be a top priority for its investments. The organization expressed that flipping the chamber represented the best chance of its interest in guarding against full Democratic control in Washington.

Thus, from now on, AFP Action will channel its resources to finance Republican campaigns on the congressional level. So far, the organization has endorsed five candidates running for Senate and 19 candidates running for House seats.

Trump’s win in the South Carolina primary marks a significant step towards his path to a Republican nomination. Trump is already being regarded as the presumptive nominee as he has won GOP primaries in several other states like Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.



 

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