WASHINGTON — Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced Friday he is no longer considering an independent run for the US presidency.
“I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time,” Schultz said in a statement.
Schultz, a billionaire, had depicted himself as a business-smart moderate Democrat who criticized what he called the party’s excessive shift to the left.
Many in America had said that if he ran, Schultz would benefit the Republican Donald Trump by drawing away votes from whoever the Democratic candidate turns out to be for the 2020 election.
Schultz argued Friday that because of quirks in the US election system, it is likely that the Democratic nominee will not be known before the deadlines for an independent to get on the ballot.
“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,” said Schultz.
Schultz acknowledged that some Americans fear that backing an independent would help re-elect “a uniquely dangerous incumbent president.”