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Ben Carson: ‘I’m announcing my candidacy for president’ Monday

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Posted at 11:05 PM, May 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-03 23:05:06-04

WASHINGTON — Retired physician Ben Carson told Sinclair Broadcasting on Sunday night that he plans to announce his candidacy for president of the United States on Monday.

“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 told Jeff Barnd.

He is expected to make the official announcement Monday morning at the Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts.

Carson, 63, will become the fourth candidate to formally seek the Republican nomination in the 2016 race. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have also announced their candidacies amid a widening field.

The retired neurosurgeon is a political newcomer but a favorite among conservatives for his outspoken criticism of Obamacare.

Carson has been traveling the nation over the past six months, giving paid speeches and meeting with supporters to gauge interest in a bid. He recently traveled to Iowa and New Hampshire, and he spoke last month at the National Rifle Association’s meeting in Tennessee.

Carson’s relative political inexperience, however, hasn’t turned him away from the campaign. He’ll look to make it an asset, framing himself as a common-sense alternative to the broken policies of Washington politicians.

And recent polls indicate it’s too early to count him out. In the Real Clear Politics average of polls last month, Carson surveyed right in the middle of the potential GOP field, ahead of more seasoned or better-known GOP contenders such as former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and he took fifth place with 9% support in the last CNN/ORC survey, conducted in March.

Still, that’s a marked decline from late February, when he was polling in the top three of the pack, indicating he still has some work to do in proving his credibility with voters.