Coal executive tapped to lead GOP fundraising effort

By Timothy Cama | 01/23/2024 04:02 PM EST

Joe Craft and Kelly Craft, the former United Nations ambassador, will chair the party’s Presidential Trust.

Kelly Craft.

Former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft speaks to reporters before the start of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville on Aug. 25, 2022. Timothy Easley/AP

The Republican Party has tapped a coal executive to lead its efforts to raise a pot of money for the party’s eventual presidential nominee.

Alliance Resource Partners CEO Joe Craft and his wife, former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, will co-chair the Republican National Committee’s Presidential Trust, the committee announced Tuesday.

“With their leadership both in public service and the private sector, we are confident the Crafts will help us continue to grow our Party and raise the necessary funds to deliver Republican victories up and down the ballot in just 10 short months,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.


The Crafts said, “Our country is at a critical point in history where it is necessary for conservative leadership to return to the White House, win back the Senate, and expand our House majority. Preserving the American Dream for all and strengthening our nation’s security is dependent upon Republican victories in the fall.

“We are honored to co-chair the Presidential Trust to ensure the integrity of our elections and to bolster a nationwide infrastructure for Republican candidates.”

The Presidential Trust is a project the RNC organizes each election year in an effort to raise money to support the eventual GOP presidential nominee

The Crafts are longtime major GOP donors and strong allies to former President Donald Trump, who is poised to become the party’s presidential nominee. Alliance is the largest coal producer in the eastern United States.

In this election cycle, the couple has donated to the Republican presidential campaigns of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, but hadn’t donated to Trump as of Sept. 30, 2023, the most recent date for which disclosures are available. All of those candidates except Haley and Trump have dropped out of the race.

The Crafts co-hosted a fundraiser for DeSantis in August 2023.