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 CramerCain says he 'won't run away from criticism' in push for Fed seat Cain says he won't back down, wants to be nominated to Fed Conservatives urge Trump to stick with Moore for Fed MORE’s (R-N.D.) bid against Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPro-trade groups enlist another ex-Dem lawmaker to push for Trump's NAFTA replacement Pro-trade group targets 4 lawmakers in push for new NAFTA Biden office highlights support from women after second accuser comes forward 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 TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction 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.