Ben Carson hires fundraising adviser

Ben Carson appears to be ramping up fundraising efforts ahead of a 2016 campaign.

Washington (CNN)Ben Carson is expanding his fundraising operation, bringing on a senior adviser with ties to Newt Gingrich to run his small-dollar fundraising efforts if he runs for president.

Mike Murray, president and CEO of TMA Direct, a direct-mail firm that does work for conservative organizations and outlets ranging from the National Rifle Association to National Review, would oversee Carson's grassroots fundraising, if the retired neurosurgeon makes a play for the White House.
He's expressed interest in a run, and has begun testing the waters in early primary states and hiring staff. In January, he hired a former Michele Bachmann staffer to help him build his operation in Iowa.
    Murray and Carson have a longstanding relationship through Carson's work on the health care policy effort launched by former Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich's group, American Legacy PAC.
    That campaign amassed the contact information of over 600,000 Americans and raised $6 million, with an average donation of $43. The hire is a hint at what a Carson bid would look like — funded heavily by small-dollar donations, developed with grassroots support.
    It's unclear whether Murray's hire would bring along with him the mailing lists his firm oversees, but if so that would be a major boon to Carson's fundraising efforts.