“The people who thought that we may have been backing down from politics are going to be surprised, because the reality is we’ve been strengthening our capabilities to go bigger than ever before,” said Seidel, who is CEO of Americans for Prosperity, the main grassroots and political arm of the sprawling network associated with the Kansas billionaire.
In the 2018 midterm elections, the group and its political action committee, AFP Action, were active in 64 races. It is looking to double or triple that number in 2020, Koch officials said. Last year, they were active in 38 races in four states, their largest off-year engagement, officials said.
Koch officials would not disclose how much they plan to spend in 2020.
On Thursday, AFP Action will announce its endorsement of four House Republicans: Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Steve Chabot of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
The group previously announced support for five GOP Senate incumbents: John Cornyn of Texas, Steve Daines of Montana, Cory Gardner of Colorado, David Perdue of Georgia and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
Koch officials previously announced that they would not engage in this year’s presidential race.
In previous elections, the network has rivaled spending by the National Republican Committee, plowing hundreds of millions of dollars into federal and state contests.
But in recent years, the network has engaged in a major reset of its priorities and has worked to distance itself from the Republican brand in the era of President Donald Trump. As part of that shift, Seidel announced last year that Americans for Prosperity would back incumbents of any political party, including Democrats, “who lead by uniting.”
In the interview with CNN this week, Seidel said, “We’re not looking for Democrats. We’re not looking for Republicans. We’re looking for people who are committed to driving on these policies that we believe will help improve the lives of all Americans.”
But they have broken sharply with Trump’s immigration and trade policies.
Americans for Prosperity operates in 35 states and claims an activist army of more than 3 million. The group contacted more than 1 million voters in 2019 and already has contacted more than 250,000 voters so far to help its favored 2020 candidates, Koch officials said.
“We feel like we are really well-positioned to bring a unique permanent grassroots infrastructure to the playing field,” Seidel said.