Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that he’ll be ending his 2020 presidential run as an Independent. Learn more about the former candidate and his reasons for quitting his campaign.
UPDATE, September 6 2019, 8:40am ET: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz, 66, announced on September 6 that he would be ending his run for president as an Independent candidate. In a lengthy letter on his website, Shultz wrote, “”My belief in the need to reform our two-party system has not wavered, but I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time.” He went on to write that “”not enough people today are willing to consider backing an independent candidate because they fear doing so might lead to re-electing a uniquely dangerous incumbent president.”
Shultz also cited a back injury in April 2019 that resulted in three surgeries, preventing him from traveling to campaign and meet constituents this summer. He ended the letter with, “As we elevate humanity in every corner of our lives, let us create a truly magnificent future for America.”
ORIGINAL: While describing himself as a “lifelong” Democrat, former Starbucks CEO faced backlash from the party after telling The New York Times that he was planning to run for president as an Independent. Here’s everything you need to know about the forthcoming candidate:
1. He stepped down as Starbucks as CEO in June 2018 and in doing so, teased his presidential run. In a memo announcing his exit, Schultz wrote, “I’ll be thinking about a range of options for myself, from philanthropy to public service, but I’m a long way from knowing what the future holds.”
2. He stood up to Donald Trump’s restrictive immigration policy in 2017 by announcing that Starbucks would hire 10,000 immigrants over the next five years. “We have a long history of hiring young people looking for opportunities and a pathway to a new life around the world,” he wrote in a statement. “This is why we are doubling down on this commitment by working with our equity market employees as well as joint venture and licensed market partners in a concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination.”
3. He has responded to detractors saying that claim that his Independent run would undermine a Democratic candidate. “I am certainly prepared for the cynics and the naysayers to come out and say this cannot be done,” he told the New York Times. “I don’t agree with them. I think it’s un-American to say it can’t be done. I’m not doing this to be a spoiler.”
4. However, it’s not entirely sure he’ll run. He also told the New York Times that he’d taking an upcoming three-month book tour to make up his mind about tossing his hat into the ring.
5. He’s seeking those feeling disenfranchised by both parties. “Republicans and Democrats alike — who no longer see themselves as part of the far extreme of the far right and the far left — are looking for a home,” he also told the New York Times. “The word ‘independent,’ for me, is simply a designation on the ballot.”