Washington DC, November 29

T

he influential network associated with billionaire Charles Koch has announced the endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley in the GOP primary, CNN reported.

The decision is expected to dramatically reshape the Republican field - roughly seven weeks before the Iowa caucuses - as the support will substantially increase the organisational strength of the Indian-origin leader.

Americans for Prosperity Action will be throwing its weight by deploying vast resources and a standing army of conservative activists on behalf of the former South Carolina governor, according to CNN.

The endorsement marks the latest sign that powerful Republican donors are coalescing behind the candidacy of the former US ambassador to the United Nations. She has seen prominent figures join her campaign in recent weeks, particularly after South Carolina Senator Tim Scott exited the race

Earlier this year, AFP Action - a political arm of Koch's network - pledged to back a single contender in the GOP presidential primary for the first time in its history.

"When we announced our decision to engage in our first ever Republican presidential primary, we made it clear that we'd be looking for a candidate who can turn the page on our political dysfunction - and win. It's clear that candidate is Nikki Haley," Siedel said Tuesday.

"We can't keep looking to the politicians of the past to fix the problems of today. Nikki Haley represents a new generation of leadership and offers a bold, positive vision for our future. AFP Action is proud to be endorsing her and we will be doing everything we can to help make her the next President of the United States," CNN quoted Siedel as saying.

Seidel did not disclose a budget on behalf of Haley, but the network has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in previous election cycles, rivalling the financial might of the Republican National Committee.

"AFP Action's members know that there is too much at stake in this election to sit on the sidelines. This is a choice between freedom and socialism, individual liberty and big government, fiscal responsibility and spiralling debt. We have a country to save, and I'm grateful to have AFP Action by our side," Haley said in a statement to CNN.

The effort will begin with a multimillion-dollar ad campaign in support of Haley launching this week in all early and several Super Tuesday states, and the group touted its data capabilities - including a contact database with millions of voters - and its extensive grassroots reach.

In addition to attempting to stir doubts about Trump among the GOP faithful, network officials have said part of their 2024 strategy is to bring a broader range of voters - those who reliably vote in general elections but not Republican primaries - into the GOP primary process to help alter the outcome of early contests.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to be the frontrunner in Republican primaries in both national and early state polling, with Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis each jockeying to emerge as the main Trump alternative, according to CNN.

During his White House tenure, Trump often sparred with Koch officials, who sharply criticized his administration's trade and hardline immigration policies. But the network supported the Trump administration on other priorities, including a tax cut bill he signed into law in late 2017 and a criminal justice overhaul. The network also backed his nominees to the US Supreme Court.

US: Koch network endorses Nikki Haley in GOP presidential primary

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