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Howard Schultz decides against 2020 presidential run

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced Friday that he no longer plans to run in the 2020 presidential race.

Schultz had initially announced his plans to run as an independent candidate in January, according to Fox.

In a letter posted to his website, Schultz explained that he had chosen to run as an independent candidate because Democrats and Republicans have “consistently put party over country” and because he wanted to alleviate the country of its “two-party gridlock.”

“My belief is 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,” Schultz stated in his letter.

According to CNN, Schultz’s choice will come as a relief to Democratic candidates who were concerned that a third-party candidate could siphon off votes from the eventual Democratic nominee.

“It has become more likely that the Democratic nominee will not be known before the deadlines to submit the required number of signatures for an independent to get on the ballot,” Schultz said. “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 would have followed in Trump’s footsteps as a billionaire non-politician and previously said he planned to spend more than $100 million on his White House bid, according to Fox. Now that he no longer plans to run, Schultz said he plans to invest any monetary funds set aside for his campaign in “people, organizations and ideas that promote honesty, civility and results in our politics, and that move (the) country beyond two-party gridlock.”