Billionaire conservative icon David Koch is stepping down from the Koch brothers’ network of business and political activities.
His withdrawal is not expected to have any impact on the massive political spending by Koch-affiliated groups.
The 78-year-old is suffering from deteriorating health, according to a letter his brother Charles Koch, 84, sent to company officials.
Using money they made from their Kansas-based family business empire, the Koch brothers have created what is likely the nation’s most powerful political organization. Their network has pledged to spend $400 million to shape the 2018 midterm elections.
The Koch brothers also have devoted significant resources to strengthening conservative influence on college campuses, in the Hispanic community and in the nonprofit sector.
Charles Koch, considered the more hardcore ideological brother, has assumed a more visible leadership role in the brothers’ affairs in recent years. He will continue to serve as the CEO of Koch Industries and the unofficial face of the network’s political efforts.
Democrats have demonized the Koch brothers for their outsized influence in conservative politics over the last decade. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid regularly attacked Republicans for what he called a “Koch addiction.”