The newly-formed political action committee dedicated to drafting Dr. Ben Carson to run for president as a Republican in 2016 said Tuesday they have raised nearly $3 million.
The group, the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, has raised $2,837,401 in its first six months of activity, they announced in a release.
Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, became well known in conservative circles after he criticized Obamacare during the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013. He made his comments as President Obama sat just feet away.
An official with the draft effort said the money demonstrates the enthusiasm for Carson, an African-American, to run.
“Dr. Carson has said he will consider running for president if the American people are clamoring, and the tremendous outpouring of donations shows that the people are indeed clamoring,” said Vernon Robinson, the committee’s campaign director. “Hundreds of thousands have signed the petition asking him to run, donated to the grassroots effort and volunteered their time to represent the Committee at events around the country.”
Since August, about 47,000 people have given money to the draft effort, the group said. The average contribution amount was $45.
The committee said it will use the funds to “raise awareness of Dr. Carson’s qualifications and lay the groundwork for a national grassroots support network for his candidacy.”
“Ben Carson is a political outsider with the background, experience, leadership and vision to heal the bitter divides in American politics and set our nation on the path to prosperity,” the PAC said. “As a former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and one of the most respected brain surgeons in the world, he has the leadership skills required to lead the country.”
Carson will make a public appearance before conservatives this week when he speaks to CPAC – the Conservative Political Action Committee conference – on Saturday.