Herman Cain (R), the conservative Atlanta-based radio host and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, announced Wednesday that he is officially forming a presidential exploratory committee.
The announcement makes Cain the first 2012 contender to launch an exploratory committee.
“After receiving overwhelming encouragement from supporters and donors across the U.S., I have decided to form a presidential exploratory committee,” Cain said in statement. “During this time, we will examine the extent of financial resources and grassroots support that would be critical to winning the Republican nomination.”
While he would undoubtedly enter the race as a significant longshot, Cain has generated considerable buzz among grassroots conservatives and Tea Party activists, having spoken at dozens of rallies nationwide. Cain, who is African-American, recently emerged as theÂ surprise winner of a presidential primary bracket on the conservative blog RedState, edging former Alaska Gov.Â Sarah Palin (R) by 800 votes.