March 3, 2015 9:03 AM EST

Conservative grassroots darling Dr. Ben Carson is formally exploring a bid for president in 2016, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Carson, a former neurosurgeon and author, has formed an official committee to raise money for a potential campaign. Although he has no experience as an elected politician—or perhaps because of it—he has already won the favor of some conservative voters; at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Carson ranked fourth in the straw poll.

The Gifted Hands author has also made a number of strategic hires as of late, picking up staff members for a potential campaign in early caucus states like South Carolina and Iowa.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

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