Conservative donors Koch brothers prefer Walker in 2016: NY Times

Scott Walker's Silence Coming to Close
Scott Walker's Silence Coming to Close

(Reuters) - Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, the influential conservative donors, have settled on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as their top choice to win the 2016 Republican nomination for U.S. president, the New York Times reported on Monday.

David Koch said at a fundraiser for the New York State Republican Party on Monday that he and his brother would support the party's eventual nominee in the general election, but that it should be Walker, the paper reported, citing two people in attendance.

The Koch brothers are among the best-known conservative donors, and potential Republican candidates court their favor. The pair has said they plan to spend nearly $900 million during the 2016 campaign cycle.

Walker already has allied himself with the more conservative wing of his party, making statements such as saying he would not support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Those moves were intended to set Walker apart from others in the Republican field, particularly former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who has an advantage in national name recognition and fundraising over many other possible 2016 contenders.

It was not clear how much the Kochs planned to help Walker with his primary run, the Times said.

David Koch said at the event that the group's political organizations would not back any single candidate during the Republican primaries, but he indicated that the family might separately support Walker, the paper said

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Christian Plumb)