Fiorina, Carson announce presidential campaigns

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(CNN) – A former Silicon Valley businesswoman and a retired black neurosurgeon from Detroit entered the race to become the Republican Party’s presidential candidate Monday.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina became the first declared female candidate to seek the Republican Party’s nomination.

“Yes, I am running,” Fiorina said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I think I’m the best person for the job because I understand how the economy actually works. I understand the world; who’s in it.”

The ex-Silicon Valley executive and long-shot White House contender has never held public office. In 2010, she unsuccessfully ran for Senate in California, losing to Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

She is now one of only a few women ever to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for president — among them, former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who was a candidate in 2012, and former North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole, who made a brief run in the 2000 cycle.

Later in the morning, Ben Carson announced his candidacy in his hometown of Detroit.

“I’m Ben Carson, and I’m a candidate for president of the United States,” he told a crowd in his hometown of Detroit on Monday, making his presidential bid official to wild applause.

The retired neurosurgeon and unlikely conservative star signaled that he’ll make his medical career and political inexperience a key part of his pitch to voters, telling local news outlet WKRC before his announcement: “I’m not 100 percent sure ‘politics as usual’ is going to save us.”

Carson is so far the only African-American presidential candidate from either party. He cuts an unusual figure for the GOP, but that’s part of his appeal for conservatives.

He made his name in medicine by becoming the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins at the head, and was played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. in a TNT adaptation of his memoir.

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