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Koch-backed group AFP ready to back new Republican candidate

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2023-02-05T14:44:22Z

A general view of the White House in Washington, U.S. July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A political advocacy group backed by billionaire businessman Charles Koch is preparing to get involved in the primaries for the 2024 U.S. Presidential elections, saying it wanted to back a candidate who could “lead the country forward”, a memo released on Sunday said.

The group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), has not previously supported candidates in presidential elections but said in the memo the best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who “represents a new chapter.”

The memo, addressed to AFP staff and activists by AFP Chief Executive Emily Seidel, and published on the organization’s website, did not mention by name current U.S. President Joe Biden or his predecessor Donald Trump but said that to “write a new chapter … we turn the page on the past.”

“Here’s the hard truth as I see it,” the memo said. “The Republican Party is nominating bad candidates who are advocating for things that go against core American principles. And the American people are rejecting them.

“The Democratic Party increasingly sees this as a political opportunity. And they’re responding with more and more extreme policies … This means the country is in a downward spiral, with both parties reinforcing the bad behavior of the

other.”

The group, which has promoted lower taxes, less regulation and free trade, reiterated its presence in key states, saying that “no-one is better positioned to engage and mobilize people across those states.”

Former president Trump is so far the only announced Republican candidate, although former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is expected to kick off her campaign for the nomination this month.