Written: November 28, 2023, 02:52h.
Last updated on: November 28, 2023, 02:52h.
Nikki Haley, the 29th United States ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina, has gained the political backing of the powerful Koch family for her 2024 Republican Party primary run.
In what is a major blow to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 aspirations, the Koch family, adamant supporters of GOP candidates but oppositionists to Donald Trump, are throwing their political clout behind Haley.
The Kochs are one of the country’s richest families. Forbes estimates their net worth at approximately $118 billion, with Charles Koch and his late brother, David Koch, each worth an equal $59 billion. The brothers’ father, Fred Koch, founded Koch Industries as an oil refinery in 1940. The multinational conglomerate today is the second-largest privately held company in the US behind Cargill.
The Koch brothers have been steadfast backers of the Republican Party for decades. Charles Koch and his brother’s widow, Julia Koch, are ready to bet big on a fresh face to represent the GOP and flush that candidate’s war chest with ample funds in an effort to stop Trump from being the party’s presidential nominee for a third general election.
The Koch family thinks they’ve found that candidate in Haley. They will donate millions of dollars to her campaign through their super political action committee (PAC), Americans for Prosperity Action.
AFP Action is proud to throw our full support behind Nikki Haley, who offers America the opportunity to turn the page on the current political era, to win the Republican primary and defeat Joe Biden next November,” said AFP president and CEO Emily Seidel.
“She has what it takes to lead a policy agenda to take on our nation’s biggest challenges and help ensure our country’s best days are ahead,” Seidel continued. “With the grassroots and data capability we bring to bear in this race, no other organization is better equipped to help her do it.”
She will beat Biden, drive down our debt, take on reckless spending, and unleash American energy.
📷 WATCH pic.twitter.com/Id0OL9An40
— Americans for Prosperity Action (@AFPAction) November 28, 2023
The feud between the Koch family and Trump has been ongoing for years. The former president and 2024 GOP front-runner issued a statement through his campaign communications manager in response to the Koch family backing Haley.
No amount of shady money from George Soros, Democrats, and Never-Trump RINOs in partnership with endless-war swamp creatures in Washington will stop the MAGA movement or President Trump from being the Republican nominee and defeating Crooked Joe Biden,” said Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung.
Trump remains the betting favorite for the GOP ticket. His shares on the PredictIt market asking, “Who will win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination” are trading at 75 cents. Haley is a distant second at 17 cents.
Winning shares on the political peer-to-peer betting exchange are redeemed at $1 each, minus a 10% commission for PredictIt.
The Koch family, through Americans for Prosperity, in 2012 donated $36.6 million to Republican candidates, the bulk of which went to Mitt Romney in his unsuccessful bid to oust President Barack Obama from the White House.
The Kochs greatly scaled back their political contributions in 2016 when Trump gained the party’s ticket. AFP gave only $13.3 million that year, with all of it going to Congressional campaigns — not Trump.
AFP contributed $47.7 million to Republicans during the 2020 election, but again, most of that money went to candidates not named Trump. AFP spent $69.5 million during last year’s midterms.
Casino Billionaire Sitting Out Primary
The Koch family will soon enter the commercial casino industry when the Fontainebleau opens next month on the Las Vegas Strip.
In February 2021, Koch Real Estate Investments, an affiliate of Koch Industries, bought the long-stalled casino project for an undisclosed sum. Koch financed the completion of the resort and will lease the structure to Jeffrey Soffer’s Fontainebleau Development.
Dr. Miriam Adelson, another casino landlord who is a robust financial backer of the Republican Party, says she’ll wait until the primary process concludes to open her deep pockets. Adelson is the widow of Sheldon Adelson, the founder and former chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands.
The Adelsons, unlike the Kochs, have been steady supporters of Trump. The couple gave more than half a billion dollars to Republicans between 2011 and 2020. Adelson died in early 2021, but his wife has pledged to carry on his political activities.