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Spread the wealth: Koch brothers considering donating to five GOP presidential candidates

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Conservative billionaire Charles Koch is considering giving money to several candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination before settling on a single recipient, USA Today reported on Tuesday.

Koch told the newspaper he was thinking about throwing his weight into the presidential primaries for the first time.

Charles said he and his brother David Koch had identified five candidates with the right message and “a good chance of getting elected.”

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They are Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, he said.

“Those are the ones we have talked to the most and who seem to be the possible leaders,” Koch was quoted as saying. “What we’ve told them all is that right now, we’re not supporting anyone.

“We’re telling them that if they want our support, one way to get it is articulating a good message to help Americans get a better understanding and a better appreciation of how certain policies … will benefit them and will benefit all America.”

At a fundraiser on Monday for the New York State Republican Party, David Koch indicated that Walker was the brothers’ favorite, according to the New York Times.

He said the brothers’ political organizations would not back any single Republican in the primaries, but suggested the family might separately support Walker, the paper said.

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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.

The Koch brothers, who are among the best-known conservative donors, have said they plan to spend nearly $900 million during the 2016 campaign cycle.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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