Jeb Bush became the first big name to enter the 2016 presidential fray on Tuesday, shaking up a field that was waiting to see whether he’d enter the GOP race.
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The former Florida governor’s announcement that he was “actively exploring” a bid sent a clear signal to donors, campaign staffers and his rivals of his seriousness about a White House run.
“Rarely has a candidate launched an exploratory committee and received findings that dissuade them from running,” said Ryan Williams, a former spokesman for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. “You don’t go exploring and determine that things are great or that there are better candidates than you. It’s a move that leads to a run.”
Bush, who also said Tuesday that he would set up a leadership PAC, has been moving towards a White House bid for some time.