If money is any indication, a prominent Baltimore doctor with no political experience is an early front-runner in the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
A group encouraging retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to run for president raised $2.4 million in the first three months of this year, more than the group backing Hillary Clinton or those affiliated with Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and other potential candidates, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Carson, 62, has emerged as a prominent African-American conservative commentator. He appears regularly on Fox News and writes a weekly column for the conservative Washington Times newspaper.
Carson’s spokesman says he is not interested in running for president and he is not affiliated with the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee.
The money is a sign that conservative voters are looking beyond the usual political suspects for a presidential candidate, the head of the Ben Carson committee said.
“My gut tells me that the American people are looking for a citizen statesman, for a non-politician,” said John Philip Sousa IV, a descendant of the “Stars and Stripes Forever” composer who serves as the group’s chairman.