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Koch-backed group halts financial support for Haley

Koch-backed group halts financial support for Haley

Americans For Prosperity Action, an advocacy organization backed by billionaire Charles Koch and his network of wealthy conservatives supporting Nikki Haley in the Republican presidential primary, will no longer spend money on behalf of her campaign.

Following Haley’s defeat in the early primary states -- including her home state of South Carolina, on Saturday night -- AFP has decided to refocus its mission on United States Senate and House races, according to an internal staff email sent by Americans For Prosperity CEO Emily Seidel and reviewed by ABC News.

Seidel wrote that AFP remains confident in its endorsement and still supports Haley but recognizes the challenges moving forward into the next primary states.

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley hosts a watch party during the South Carolina Republican presidential primary election, in Charleston (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)
PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley hosts a watch party during the South Carolina Republican presidential primary election, in Charleston (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

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"She has made it clear that she will continue to fight and we wholeheartedly support her in this effort," Seidel wrote. "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."

Reacting to the news, the Haley campaign thanked the group for being an "ally in the fight for freedom and conservative government."

"We thank them for their tremendous help in this race," the statement from Haley’s campaign continued. "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."

AFP had a hefty infrastructure in place to combat Haley’s rival, former President Donald Trump, which primarily focused on door-knocking and digital advertisements.

Seidel characterized their grassroots operations as a "force to be reckoned with" and congratulated staff for engaging with over 3 million voters.

The Koch-backed group stayed out of the 2016 and 2020 presidential cycles but utilized significant resources to try and boost Haley's campaign. It is unclear how much money was spent over the last four months since its endorsement, but the group had cash on hand. It reported raising over $70 million in its last public filing in June, with $25 million coming from Koch himself and another $25 million from one of his nonprofit groups.

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley hosts a watch party during the South Carolina Republican presidential primary election, in Charleston (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley hosts a watch party during the South Carolina Republican presidential primary election, in Charleston (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

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As the group turns its efforts to down-ballot races, Seidel suggested the "most important and hardest challenge" will be convincing independent voters who refuse to cast a ballot for Trump to support their Republican candidates.

Politico was first to report the news of AFP suspending funding for Haley.

Koch-backed group halts financial support for Haley originally appeared on abcnews.go.com