The Republican Party is about to get a massive shakeup. The deep-pocketed Koch Network – associated with billionaire Charles Koch – is preparing to throw its weight and money behind a single Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential primary. This could significantly reshape the GOP field and potentially turn the page on the past.
Americans for Prosperity Action, the main political arm of the Koch network, is ready to support a candidate who can lead the country forward and win. This decision to engage in the GOP primary is likely to set off a scramble among Republican presidential contenders to win over the Kansas-based industrialist and the hundreds of wealthy donors who help finance his influential, free-market network.
The Koch network has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in previous election cycles, rivaling the financial reach of the Republican National Committee. Americans for Prosperity has permanent staff in 36 states and touts millions of grassroots activists across the country. Its political wing also plans to engage earlier and more aggressively in congressional and state-level primaries, both to influence more contests and to find new voters to participate in primaries.
The network is stepping up its activity to help address “the broken politics” that has created a “toxic situation” in the nation’s capital and blocked policy progress. Several Republicans weighing 2024 bids have longstanding ties to Koch world, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
The libertarian-leaning network has engaged in a public reset of its priorities in recent years and worked to distance itself from the Republican brand during the Trump era. But the network did back some Trump-led efforts, spending heavily, for instance, to promote his $1.5 trillion tax code overhaul in 2017.
With the Koch Network’s financial and political backing, the Republican Party is set to experience a major shakeup in the 2024 presidential primary. It will be interesting to see which candidate is able to capture the Koch Network’s support, and how this will ultimately shape the GOP field.