Starbucks CEO shuts down independent operation - his own

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at Purdue University in West Lafayette Ind. Feb. 7 2019

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at Purdue University in West Lafayette Ind. Feb. 7 2019

Former Starbucks Corp chief executive Howard Schultz has abandoned plans for an independent presidential run, saying he did not want to split the electorate and help re-elect U.S. President Donald Trump in 2020, according to a statement on his website.

Schultz in January said that he was seriously considering running for president as a "centrist independent" after stepping down as chairman and CEO of Starbucks in 2018. He said people believe an independent bid "might lead to reelecting a uniquely risky incumbent president".

"If I went forward, there is a risk that my name would appear on ballots even if a moderate Democrat wins the nomination, and that is not a risk I am willing to take", Schultz wrote. Schultz also cited several recent back surgeries that have hampered his ability to travel.

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However, Schultz is not ruling out further involvement in politics and "prepared to commit to a presidential campaign will instead be used to invest in people, organizations and ideas that promote honesty, civility and results in our politics, and that move the country beyond two-party gridlock". He singled out increasing national service opportunities for young people as one area he'll target.

Schultz's decision to abandon a potential White House bid will come as a relief to Democrats who were anxious that a third party candidate could siphon off votes from their party's eventual nominee and result in a Trump second term.

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