Last Saturday in a downtown Atlanta park, Black Republican Herman Cain announced his intent to run for president. The former pizza CEO makes for an interesting character in the 2012 campaign.

Here’s what you need to know about Cain:

1) He’s an HBCU grad. Cain graduated from Morehouse College in 1967. He later worked as a mathematician while receiving a Masters in Computer Science from Purdue University.

2) He’s a food industry giant. Aside from heading Godfather’s Pizza, Cain also worked for the corporate divisions of Coca Cola, the Pillsbury Company, and Burger King. The millionaire has also served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Cain hosts a radio talk show in his hometown of Atlanta, but he has never held an elected office position.

3) He doesn’t think the Tea Party’s rhetoric has racist undertones. Cain is certainly challenging the idea that every African-American is loyal to the Democratic Party and liberal ideals. The proud Tea Partier said in March, “Accusing the Tea Party movement of racism is not only a cheap shot, it is totally inaccurate and it is a sign of desperation on the part of those who are intimidated by the growing strength of the Tea Party movement. …Would 2,500 racists vote for me for president? I don’t think so.”

4) He’s very critical of President Barack Obama’s performance. Cain described the current administration as the worst in recent history — he blames the President for the state of the economy and disagrees with the concept of universal healthcare. When asked if he thought President Obama was a patriot, he answered simply, “No.”

5) He’s doing well in the polls. A recent Gallup poll cited Cain as the most likable of the Republican candidates. Earlier this month, political pundits rated him the clear winner of the GOP’s first debate in South Carolina.

It’s too early to predict if Cain will win the GOP nomination, but if nothing else, his run will certainly be one to pay close attention to.

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