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Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush officially exploring White House bid

Bush to establish leadership pack and begin traveling the country in January

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

florida mugMIAMI (CFP) — Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will “actively explore” the possibility of seeking the White House in 2016 — the clearest indication yet that he will try to follow his father and brother into the Oval Office.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush

In an announcement posted on his Facebook page December 16, Bush said he decided to explore a Republican presidential bid after talking about it with his family over Thanksgiving.

“As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States,” Bush said.

He also said he would establish a leadership PAC in January “that will help me facilitate conservations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation.”

Bush, 61, served as governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and the brother of former President George W. Bush.

He had been mentioned as a possible GOP presidential contender in both 2008 and 2012 but opted out of both of those races.

Should he run, Bush will face what’s likely to be a crowded Republican field, with possibly five other Southerners in the mix.

Among the potential Southern GOP candidates are U.S. Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida; and Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rick Perry of Texas.

On the Democratic side, former U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia has already launched an exploratory committee for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination — a race that’s expected to be dominated by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former first lady of Arkansas.

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