Texas Senator Ted Cruz has confirmed his bid for the US presidency, becoming the first Republican to declare his campaign for the White House 2016.
The Republican tweeted: “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support.”
Ted Cruz, 44, is to set out his plans in detail in a speech at Liberty University in Virginia on March 23.
In a video posted on Twitter, Ted Cruz says: “It is going to take a new generation of courageous conservatives to make America great again.”
Commentators say Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, splits Republican opinion.
Ted Cruz may go up against the likes of Jeb Bush, an early Republican frontrunner, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who are yet to formally declare their candidacy.
Republican Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio have also hinted at their own White House interests.
Meanwhile, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is widely expected to be among those standing for the Democratic Party nomination.
Ted Cruz is a leading conservative who was elected to the US Senate in 2012.
In September 2013, the firebrand politician gave a 21-hour speech against President Barack Obama’s health law – one of the longest speeches in Senate history.
Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for the White House was thrown into doubt after it emerged he was born in Canada, and he was forced to formally give up his dual citizenship last year.
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