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Aside from Jeb Bush’s decision to “actively explore” running for president, no other GOP candidate has yet officially formed an exploratory committee. Most of them have formed a political action committee, which is typically the birth of an exploratory committee, followed by a campaign. An exploratory committee is not a necessity as a candidate can go from zero to campaign in one step, however, the exploratory committee will allow fundraising to begin before the official campaign has to be created.

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Report from the Sun Herald:

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has created an exploratory committee to run for president, becoming the first Republican candidate to formally enter the 2016 presidential contest.

Carson, the only African-American expected to enter the race, rose to national prominence after criticizing President Barack Obama’s health care law at the 2013 National Prayer breakfast. He quickly developed a loyal following among the GOP’s most conservative voters.

“Obviously, this is a very big step,” committee chairman Terry Giles said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Today we begin the formal process of exploring whether or not Ben can win the presidency.”

In the eyes of the law, there is little difference between a presidential campaign committee and an exploratory committee, which allows Carson to begin raising money for a White House bid.

Carson, 63, becomes the first in a large group of Republicans expected to enter the 2016 election. The first GOP primary debate is set for August.

If anyone doubted whether Carson was focused on the presidency or the newly open Maryland senate seat, I think this answers the question. Carson has made waves since his National Prayer Breakfast speech indicated his desire to enter the political world. He’s been a star at CPAC for several years since then.

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