Ben Carson, a rising conservative star, announced Friday that he is forming a political action committee, a move that pushes him closer to running for president in 2016.

The pediatric neurosurgeon told the Washington Times his PAC will be called One Nation. “Now is the time to start all of the appropriate exploration and investigation, and put down the structure that is necessary," he told the Times.

Houston businessman Terry Giles will run the PAC and head up Carson's presidential bid, should he choose to run.

Carson, who has a Washington Times column, told the paper he is closer to running than he was a year ago. He said he plans to use the PAC to support like-minded candidates for elected office.

Carson is a favorite of many conservative activists. But has also stoked controversy. Last year, he mentioned bestiality and pedophilia as he argued against gay marriage. He has also compared President Obama's signature health-care law to slavery.