March 3, 2015 / 6:58 AM / 3 years ago

Ben Carson creates committee to explore presidential bid: WSJ

Ben Carson speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Maryland February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

((This corrected version of the story fixes Bush’s first name to Jeb from Job in last paragraph).)

(Reuters) - Ben Carson, a retired surgeon popular with Tea Party conservatives, has formally created an exploratory committee to run for president, according to his campaign chief executive, Terry Giles, the Wall Street Journal reported.

With the exploratory committee, Carson can raise money that he can transfer to his campaign once it begins, the Journal said. (on.wsj.com/18hKgAj)

He has made a number of hires lately, including a national finance director and aides in several early voting states, Giles said, adding that the campaign would soon announce more “major players,” who will join Carson’s team, the newspaper said.

Carson, a former neurosurgeon at Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University, has no prior political experience. He is a conservative commentator and author of “One Nation,” which topped the New York Times bestseller list in June.

In February, the 63-year-old Carson said he could form a committee to explore a bid for the nomination and make a formal announcement in May.

He had ranked fourth among potential Republican candidates in a Fox News poll of potential voters in Iowa, coming in behind former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi

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