Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Action stops spending on Haley campaign

Americans for Prosperity Action (AFP Action), the political wing of the conservative network led by billionaire Charles Koch, will halt spending on Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign, the group said in a memo one day after Haley’s disappointing showing in the South Carolina primary.

In a memo dated Feb. 25 to AFP Action staff, senior adviser Emily Seidel wrote, “With the South Carolina presidential primary this weekend and the Senate engagement really heating up, it’s time to take stock of where we are and — as we always do — make sure we’re optimizing our resources for maximum impact towards our goals.“

Seidel, in the memo shared with The Hill, said the group will be focusing its resources on the U.S. Senate and House races instead, while making clear the group’s endorsement of Haley, a former United Nations ambassador, still remains.

“Nikki Haley has been willing to take on that challenge and offer America a forward-looking vision and solutions to the toughest issues our country faces. She is by far the best candidate to turn the page on our dysfunctional politics and take our country in a new, positive direction,” Seidel wrote. “As we’ve discussed since the endorsement in November, we knew the presidential primary faced the longest odds — but we also knew given what’s at stake, we couldn’t sit on the sidelines. “

“She has made it clear that she will continue to fight and we wholeheartedly support her in this effort. 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. And so while we will continue to endorse her, we will focus our resources where we can make the difference. And that’s the U.S. Senate and House,” Seidel added.

The memo comes just months after the Koch-aligned group announced its support for Haley’s White House run in November, in what was the first time the deep-pocketed group put its support behind a Republican candidate in a presidential primary. At the time, the group said former President Trump and President Biden “will only further perpetuate the country’s downward spiral in politics,” after signaling last year it would not endorse Trump’s 2024 bid.

The spending halt is the latest blow to Haley, who is coming off a disappointing loss in her home state of South Carolina on Saturday. The former president beat Haley by nearly 20 points in her home state, according to Decision Desk HQ results, making the Palmetto State the third state in a row in which Trump has won by a significant margin over Haley. The two did not compete in Nevada, where a dueling primary and caucus were held instead.

Despite the various primary losses, Haley vowed to stay in the primary race, citing the disapproval ratings of Biden and Trump.

Olivia Perez-Cubas, Haley’s national spokesperson, thanked AFP for their help in the race on Sunday.

“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,” Perez-Cubas said in a statement to The Hill. “Our fight continues, and with more than $1 million coming in from grassroots conservatives in just the last 24 hours, we have plenty of fuel to keep going. We have a country to save.”

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