At a glance: Where the GOP contenders stand in the 2016 race

AP News
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Posted: Jan 30, 2015 6:55 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Technically, no big-name Republican has formally declared his candidacy for president in 2016.

But we now know that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is out, after he announced Friday that he would forgo a third presidential run.

There are as many as two dozen others still in the mix, ranging from those who are just talking about it to others with what amounts to campaigns-in-waiting.

Here's where they stand in the off-and-running race for campaign cash.

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JEB BUSH

The former Florida governor created a political action committee and super PAC in December, both named Right to Rise. Those moves accelerated the race for donors among the prospective GOP candidates, and every sign points to Bush seeking to become the third member of his family to serve as president.

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SCOTT WALKER

The Wisconsin governor this week announced a nonprofit group, Our American Revival, that will allow him to promote his policy ideas and raise unlimited donations. Because of the way Walker structured the organization, it allows him to hire staff and consultants, but he cannot give campaign donations to lawmakers in early voting states such as Iowa or New Hampshire.

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CHRIS CHRISTIE

The New Jersey governor is working to turn his fundraising success as chairman of the Republican Governors Association into cash for a possible presidential campaign. Christie moved toward a run this week with the formation of Leadership Matters for America, a political action committee.

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RAND PAUL

The Kentucky senator has his Senate leadership committee, RANDPAC, up and running - with staff in the crucial presidential states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Paul has used it to pick up the tab for his travel around the country, as well as to pay aides and consultants who would form the backbone of a presidential campaign.

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MARCO RUBIO

The senator from Florida is using Reclaim America, his federal leadership political action committee, to lay the groundwork for a campaign. Rubio spent this week away from Washington, lining up donors in California, Texas and Illinois for a likely presidential run.

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TED CRUZ

The tea party firebrand has used his federal leadership PAC, the Jobs, Growth and Freedom Fund, to advance his national political brand. The senator from Texas also has earned allies - and favors - throughout the conservative movement by helping outside organizations raise money.

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LINDSEY GRAHAM

The senior senator from South Carolina this week announced he had formed Security Through Strength, a campaign-like committee that will allow him to gauge interest in a potential White House bid. He also continues to operate a Senate leadership committee, the Fund for America's Future.

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RICK PERRY

The former Texas governor started a federal political committee last year to help him support candidates and allies, ranging from a New Hampshire sheriff hopeful to the South Carolina Republican Party. Perry initially proved a skilled fundraiser during his 2012 bid, but the money dried up after his high-profile stumbles.

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MIKE HUCKABEE

The former Arkansas governor recently stepped down from his post with Fox News to more seriously weigh a presidential bid. He has also has used his political committee, Huck PAC, to keep involved in campaigns.

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RICK SANTORUM

After dropping out of the 2012 presidential race, the former senator from Pennsylvania formed the nonprofit Patriot Voices to help him keep in touch with supporters, as well as a sister PAC with the same name. At the same time, Santorum has long hated raising money and is telling supporters he would run another shoe-string campaign.

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BOBBY JINDAL

The Louisiana governor's Stand Up to Washington PAC is his federal campaign effort, although it has not been a priority for him. Jindal recently has been courting pastors and trying to build his national security credentials with fiery speeches against radical Islam.

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CARLY FIORINA

The former tech executive is trying to build a female-empowering organization, Unlocking Potential Project, for conservatives. While she has helped GOP committees raise cash and chairs the American Conservative Union Foundation, her most recent filing to the Federal Election Commission shows she still owes close to $500,000 from her 2010 failed Senate bid in California. A Fiorina aide says she has paid that off since her last report.

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BEN CARSON

The retired pediatric neurosurgeon has developed a fervent following within conservative corners of the party, but he has never served in elected office. He has helped the anti-Obamacare American Legacy PAC raise cash, and several independent committees have sprung up to support him if he should run.

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SARAH PALIN

The 2008 vice presidential nominee and former Alaska governor recently fanned speculation that she might seek the GOP nomination in 2016. She has used her SarahPAC - along with her reality television programs and Fox News appearances - to keep her name in the mix and to pay for travel to campaign rallies with allies.

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GEORGE PATAKI

The former New York governor launched a super PAC, Americans for Real Change, and has run ads promoting his message. Pataki previously considered presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

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JOHN BOLTON and PETER KING

Two of the biggest hawks in the GOP have formed political operations to ensure the party considers national security a priority. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, heads a political action committee that carries his name. King, a congressman from New York, runs the American Leadership Now PAC.

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MIKE PENCE, JOHN KASICH and RICK SNYDER

The Midwest governors lack active federal campaign committees. Pence and Kasich had federal committees while they served in the House, but those are no longer their political bases of operations.

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