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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 CramerPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Sunday shows - Virus surge dominates ahead of fraught Thanksgiving holiday GOP senator calls for cooperation on Biden transition: 'I'd rather have a president that has more than one day to prepare' MORE’s (R-N.D.) bid against Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight Five actions Biden should take to build a more humane food system 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 John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump 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.