Taking on Trump, a Super PAC Backing Haley Aims at Independent Voters

A group of entrepreneurs is forming a super PAC to try to draw independent voters to Nikki Haley, in the latest sign that many opponents of former President Donald J. Trump in the business world are coalescing around Ms. Haley as their favored alternative.

The super PAC, called Independents Moving the Needle, will initially focus on New Hampshire, where Republican voters are more moderate than in many other states — and, crucially, where voters who are not registered with a party can choose to participate in the Republican or Democratic primary race.

After the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 23, the group will turn to South Carolina — Ms. Haley’s home state — and to “selected Super Tuesday states with open primaries,” according to a memo shared with The New York Times.

“We all believe that Nikki Haley is an outstanding leader,” the memo says. “She has by far the best electability of any Republican presidential candidate in 2024. We are convinced that our efforts will not be futile, as some may fear, and that Donald Trump does not inevitably have to be the Republican candidate — not at all.”

The founders of the super PAC are Frank Laukien, the chief executive of a life-science research and diagnostics company; Jonathan Bush, the founder and chief executive of a health-care data company and a cousin of former President George W. Bush; Bonnie Anderson, the founder and chief executive of a cancer testing company; Robert Fisher, a white-collar lawyer and former federal prosecutor; and Tamra Laukien, the founder and chief executive of a health and wellness coaching company, who is married to Mr. Laukien.

They said in the memo that they saw Ms. Haley “as a forward-thinking, next-generation leader, whose vision, values, integrity, optimism and energy make her the best choice as the Republican presidential candidate.” They did not discuss specific policies but broadly praised her positions on issues including inflation, taxes, support for Ukraine and Israel, and border security.

A spokeswoman for Ms. Haley’s campaign declined to comment.

The new organization, which was first reported by ABC News and the New Hampshire outlet WMUR, is part of a larger gravitation of business leaders toward Ms. Haley’s candidacy. The political network founded by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch endorsed her on Tuesday, and a number of executives and hedge-fund investors have begun donating to her campaign in recent weeks.

Ms. Haley and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida are battling to become the main Republican challenger to Mr. Trump, who remains far ahead in polls of the nomination contest. As Ms. Haley has consolidated support from business leaders, Mr. DeSantis has received two major endorsements in Iowa: from Gov. Kim Reynolds and from the evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats.

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