Koch fundraising network signals turn against Trump in 2024

Associated Press-Alex Brandon
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Columbia, S.C.

The powerful political network led by conservative billionaire Charles Koch waded into the GOP’s 2024 presidential primary on Sunday, saying the party needs to “turn the page on the past,” in an apparent turn against former President Trump. 

The Koch network said it’s planning to put its deep-pocketed support behind a Republican candidate in the presidential primary, which it has not done in the past. And the group indicated that candidate will not be Trump, according to a new memo from Emily Seidel, CEO of the Koch advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.

“Our country must move past the current political situation – we’ve got to turn the page on the past several years,” said Seidel, who is also a senior adviser to the group’s political wing, Americans for Prosperity Action.

The letter makes no mention of Trump, who has already launched his campaign for the GOP’s presidential nomination next year — and CNN reported that AFP Action has confirmed it won’t back the former president. The Hill has reached out for comment.

The Koch network is also widely influential in the GOP fundraising space, meaning other major donors would follow its lead in moving away from Trump.

Seidel wrote that “the hard truth” about the present political landscape is that “the Republican Party is nominating bad candidates” who are getting rejected by the American people and that “the Democratic Party increasingly sees this as a political opportunity” to push “more extreme policies.”

“To write a new chapter for our country, we need to turn the page on the past. So the best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter. The American people have shown that they’re ready to move on, and so AFP will help them do that,” Seidel wrote. 

No other high-profile Republican has yet entered the ring with Trump for the 2024 cycle, though former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is expected to announce soon and become the second major name in the running for the GOP nomination.

On the Democratic side, President Biden hasn’t officially announced he’ll run for another White House term but has said he intends to try for four more years and is widely expected to seek reelection in 2024.

Since Democrats appear to have “already chosen their path” for the 2024 presidential election, AFP Action said it sees no room to “have a positive impact there” — but is prepared to deploy its enormous fundraising apparatus in the Republican race.

“AFP Action is prepared to support a candidate in the Republican presidential primary who can lead our country forward, and who can win,” Seidel wrote.

Tags 2024 GOP presidential primary American for Prosperity Action Americans for Prosperity Biden Charles Koch Charles Koch Koch network Republican Party

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