MIAMI: US neurosurgeon Ben Carson announced Sunday that he is seeking the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.
Carson, an African American who grew up poor in Detroit but rose to become a chief pediatric neurosurgeon at prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, added his name to the widening field.
“I’m willing to be part of the equation and therefore, I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States of America,” Carson, who is retired from medicine, told WPEC television in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Perhaps because he is expected to announce his candidacy formally in coming days, Carson did not expand much on his priorities.
“I’m not 100 percent sure ‘politics as usual’ is going to save us,” said the conservative, who has raised some eyebrows with comments in the past about President Barack Obama’s policies, particularly on health care and gay rights.
“I think we are in a severe problem . . . a problematic situation.”
He joins Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, who are already seeking to take the party’s standard in the 2016 election.
Also seen as likely to run are former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Across the aisle, one of America’s most liberal senators, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, said this week that he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination, in a challenge to Hillary Clinton from the party’s left flank.
Clinton, the only Democrat to have officially announced her candidacy so far, signaled her intent to run earlier this month.
RealClearPolitics has reported that 62 percent of Democrats prefer Clinton, against a paltry six percent for Sanders, whose national profile is muted.