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Dr. Ben Carson joins The Washington Times as a weekly columnist

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Dr. Ben Carson, the world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon whose entrance into America's political debate has energized conservatives, on Wednesday joined The Washington Times as a weekly opinion columnist.

A straightforward speaker known for his optimism and candor, the pediatric neurosurgeon's early forays into politics and media attracted so much attention that news organizations and fans alike have begun discussing a possible run for political office one day.

"Dr. Carson is one of the freshest and most powerful voices in the conservative movement whose values were forged in the decades he spent helping everyday Americans as a pediatric neurosurgeon and public servant. We're excited to be adding his thought leadership to our opinion pages, a perfect addition to a team that also includes Emily Miller, Rand Paul, Wes Pruden, Suzanne Fields and many other cogent voices." said Larry Beasley, president and CEO of The Times.

Dr. Carson said he is thrilled to be a part of The Times' opinion team. "I am delighted to be joining the distinguished group of columnists at The Washington Times. There are so many issues that impact on our success and unity as a nation that need to be discussed," he said.

The American public took close notice of Dr. Carson in February following his inspired speech about the moral state of America, health care and taxes at the National Prayer Breakfast, before an audience that included President Obama. The Wall Street Journal ran an immediate op-ed titled "Ben Carson for President."

Asked by ABC News if he'd consider a White House run, the doctor simply replied, "That's not my intention, but I always say, I'll leave that to God."

For many Americans, Dr. Carson has articulated the tough-minded hope of many conservatives intent on reaffirming the value of the Republican Party, while addressing the nation's most serious fiscal and social challenges.

"Ben Carson's straightforward and unadorned prose will appeal to the frontal lobes, where thinking takes place, and leaves the cheap pandering to the emotions to lesser columnists. This eminent neurosurgeon said he thought retirement would mean playing golf and learning to play the organ, and we're pleased that he put away his drivers, putters and pipe organs to write for us," said Wesley Pruden, editor in chief emeritus of The Times, and steward of the editorial page and Commentary section.

Dr. Carson was a featured speaker at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in March, and millions have watched the physician's speeches on YouTube. "Gifted Hands," a feature movie inspired by Dr. Carson's life story with Cuba Gooding in the starring role, was released in 2009.

With his wife Candy, Dr. Carson also established the Carson Scholars Fund to ease "the education crisis in the U.S.," awarding more than $5.2 million in scholarships to young students.

Dr. Carson's column will appear in The Washington Times on a weekly basis beginning Wednesday.

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