The president of a major conservative organization that could have a major influence on both the 2022 midterm elections and 2024 race for the White House has resigned.
Tim Phillips, now the former president of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), stepped down from his position amid an internal dispute with the organization over an unspecified but reportedly “personal” matter, Fox News revealed Thursday.
Phillips had led AFP since 2006 and played a vital role in the Koch Industries-backed group’s work supporting state-level Republican grassroots organizing, including the rise of the Tea Party.
Phillips’ ouster was first reported by the Washington Examiner, which noted that the organization had accepted Phillips’ resignation after making clear to him that he was no longer welcome to continue in his position.
“While the underlying issues involved are personal in nature, Tim’s actions violate our core principles and make it impossible for him to continue in this role,” Mark Holden, AFP’s board chairman, said in a statement to the Examiner.
“This has caught us all by surprise,” Holden added. “But we believe Tim’s departure is necessary for him, his loved ones, and for AFP.”
An unnamed source at the organization told the Examiner that a weeklong investigation into the unspecified matter involving Phillips had determined “this was a personal issue and did not to our knowledge impact anyone internally at AFP.”
As to exactly what that issue was, sources wouldn’t say, other than to note that “it was a matter of integrity that violated” the “core principles” of the organization.
“Challenging personal matters”
In response to questions from the Examiner, Phillips provided a statement saying the move was “difficult,” but “in everyone’s best interest.”
“This morning, I announced my resignation as president of Americans for Prosperity in order to focus on some challenging personal matters that require my full attention,” Phillips said. “It is difficult to leave this organization, but doing so now is in everyone’s best interest.”
AFP CEO Emily Seidel will immediately transition to the position formerly occupied by Phillips, the Examiner reports, a move that should cause minimal disruptions to the group’s efforts.
The Washington Post reports that AFP has already removed from its website Phillips’ biography, which previously heralded him as “one of the nation’s premier grassroots organizers with 33 years of experience, including presidential, gubernatorial and congressional races, as well as state legislative, local and issue-advocacy campaigns.”