One day after telling reporters that his political groups were going to be more selective about which candidates they supported, a Charles Koch network organization announced it would not support a GOP representative running for a vulnerable Democrat-held Senate seat, The Hill reported.
Americans for Prosperity president Tim Phillips announced Monday that it would not endorse the Republican candidate for Senate, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), citing inconsistency in his record on financial issues.
"He's inconsistent across the board on these issues," Phillips said, referring to Cramer supporting the farm bill, spending package, and the Export Import bank. "We can't support him at this time and we've met with his team, explained this and lobbied them on this."
Why is this important?
Cramer is running to unseat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who is one of a group of Democratic incumbents facing challenges in states won by President Donald Trump in 2016. Trump carried North Dakota by more than 30 points.
Republicans have a narrow majority in the Senate, raising the stakes on individual races as Democrats push hard to make a "blue wave" a reality.
"The fact that we're doing this in an election year shows we're darn serious," said Americans for Prosperity CEO Emily Seidel.
Why are they going after Republicans now?
Koch told reporters that he had regrets about some of the people in Congress that his organizations have supported, and Seidel referenced a desire to push back against a feeling among politicians that Koch groups would support GOP lawmakers no matter how they voted.
"I regret some of the lawmakers we have supported," Koch said. "We're gonna more directly deal with that and hold people accountable."
The Koch network is currently only supporting Republican candidates for Senate heading into midterm elections: the GOP candidates in Wisconsin, Tennessee, Missouri and Florida. The network is also supporting numerous House and gubernatorial candidates.