Republican Senator Ted Cruz confirms US presidency bid
Republican Senator Ted Cruz has confirmed that he is running for the US presidency in 2016, becoming the first Republican to declare his campaign.
The 44-year-old Texan is setting out his plans in detail in a speech at Liberty University in Virginia.
In a video posted on Twitter, he says: "It is going to take a new generation of courageous conservatives to make America great again."
Commentators say Mr Cruz, a Tea Party favourite, splits Republican opinion.
Several White House hopefuls are expected to announce their bids for the presidency in the coming weeks.
Mr 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, Hillary Clinton is widely expected to be among those standing for the Democratic Party nomination.
Mr 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.
His 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.
2016 runners and riders
Most have not formally declared but these are some of the names to watch:
- early Republican frontrunner is Jeb Bush
- but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could battle Bush for the party's centre ground
- darling of the Tea Party is Texas Senator Ted Cruz
- firebrand liberal Elizabeth Warren is championed by many in the Democratic Party
- libertarian Rand Paul has his supporters - and enemies - among Republicans
- Hillary Clinton will have learnt much from her failed campaign of 2008