Ken Griffin weighs backing Nikki Haley in Republican primary


Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel, at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha summit on Sept. 28, 2022.

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Billionaire Citadel CEO Ken Griffin is “actively contemplating” financially supporting former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley in the Republican primary for president.

“That’s a decision that we’re actively contemplating. I mean, we are at the finish line on that choice. Yes or no,” Griffin said in an interview Tuesday with Bloomberg TV, when asked whether he planned to financially support Haley.

Griffin, who has an estimated net worth of $34 billion according to Forbes, also hinted to Bloomberg that he wanted to see Haley debate former President Donald Trump. The current Republican front-runner has so far refused to participate in any of the primary debates, but he continues to lead by double digits in national polling.

Griffin is the latest of several wealthy, Republican donors who have said in recent days that they plan to support Haley over Trump and the rest of the primary field.

Griffin’s public consideration of Haley comes after he gave $5 million to a political action committee that backed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ gubernatorial campaign in 2021.

As of Tuesday, wealthy Republican political donors who are seeking an alternative to Trump have fewer candidates to choose from than they did a month ago.

On Sunday, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., surprised even his own staffers when he announced on live TV that he was dropping out of the race.

Since then, a small group of former Scott donors have signaled they are ready to move into Haley’s camp.

Veteran investor and billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller donated to Scott’s campaign earlier this year.

But on Monday he told CNBC that following Scott’s announcement, he planned to support Haley exclusively from now on. Druckenmiller has donated to Haley affiliated groups in the past.

Meanwhile, Haley’s campaign is working hard to capitalize on the shrinking primary field.

Metal refining magnate Andy Sabin told CNBC that he heard from Haley’s campaign within hours of Scott’s withdrawal from the presidential race.

Until Sunday, Sabin had been fundraising for Scott’s primary effort. Now he said he will decide after the Thanksgiving holiday how he can best help Haley.

On Monday, Eric Levine, a New York based attorney who previously raised money for Scott, sent out an invitation to a fundraiser he is co-hosting in New York City next month. The beneficiary? Nikki Haley,, according to an invitation reviewed by CNBC.

Billionaire Ken Griffin say he's on sidelines for GOP presidential primary

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