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Haley’s 2024 Bid Gets Cash From Group Led by Investor Matt Cohler

(Bloomberg) -- A nonprofit led by well-known technology venture capitalist Matt Cohler has donated $200,000 to Nikki Haley’s presidential bid, joining a chorus of prominent corporate executives and Democratic donors who’ve backed the Republican contender in a bid to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.

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Pacific Environmental Coalition, a nonprofit registered in Palo Alto, California, made the donation in late December to SFA Fund Inc., the super political action committee backing Haley, according to disclosures made to the Federal Election Commission that were publicly posted this week. Cohler, a former Facebook executive and current partner at venture capital firm Benchmark, is identified as president of the coalition in US tax filings.

The nonprofit and Cohler didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Several prominent Wall Street executives and deep-pocked Democratic donors, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, have donated to Haley, fueled in part by dismay at the prospect of a rematch between Trump and President Joe Biden in November.

Haley is the last remaining major challenger to Trump but is a longshot for the nomination after suffering defeats in the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire and polls showing her well behind the GOP frontrunner in South Carolina, which holds its primary this month. Haley trails Trump in the state where she was born and served as governor for two terms by 26 points, a poll released Thursday found.

Support from donors will be crucial if Haley intends to close the gap with Trump before South Carolina votes on Feb. 24.

Democratic Donor

The Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the FEC in 2020, arguing that Cohler was using the Pacific Environmental Coalition and another group he leads to hide his identity as the source of donations. The nonprofits and Cohler have denied the allegations, and the commission ultimately dismissed the complaint.

Cohler has historically backed Democrats.

Since 2020, his nonprofit has donated $1.3 million to the Senate Majority PAC, which supports Democrats; $300,000 to Unite the Country, which backs Biden; and $250,000 to VoteVets, another super PAC that helps Democrats. Pacific Environmental had gross receipts of about $203,000 in 2022 and net assets of $12.2 million.

Prior to his decade-long career investing in early-stage Internet and software startups, Cohler was one of the founding members of LinkedIn before joining Facebook in its early days. There, he rose through the ranks to become vice president of product management. As a partner at Benchmark, he advised and sat on the boards of companies including Uber Technologies Inc. More recently, in 2022, he was appointed an independent director at New York-based asset manager KKR & Co.

--With assistance from Lizette Chapman.

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