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Koch network won't back GOP Senate candidate in North Dakota

Koch network won't back GOP Senate candidate in North Dakota
© Greg Nash

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The political groups affiliated with billionaire conservative businessman Charles Koch will not support Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerSenate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill Biden administration faces big decision on whether to wade into Dakota Access fight OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies MORE’s (R-N.D.) bid against Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampEffective and profitable climate solutions are within the nation's farms and forests Bill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (D-N.D.), citing Cramer’s record on spending.

“He’s inconsistent across the board on these issues and that makes it hard to support him,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans For Prosperity.

“He’s not leading on the issues where this country needs leadership right now, issues like spending … or trade," Phillips added. "We can’t support him at this time and we’ve met with his team, explained this and lobbied them on this.”

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Heitkamp is a top target for Republicans in November. She’s one of 10 Senate Democrats up for reelection in states President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE carried in 2016.

The Koch network will spend about $400 million this cycle to elect Republican candidates and promote conservative causes. The network historically supports Republican candidates, but at a donor summit here in Colorado Springs, senior officials have expressed deep frustration with GOP lawmakers on issues like spending and trade.

Koch officials are furious with Republicans, like Cramer, who voted for the $1.3 trillion spending bill that passed in March.

They’re vowing to hold Republicans accountable for their votes.

“We’re raising the bar,” said Americans for Prosperity CEO Emily Seidel, who added that Republicans should not expect the network to automatically support them going forward.