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Howard Schultz ending presidential campaign, pledges to supp…

Howard Schultz speaking at a Starbucks shareholder meeting. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will end his bid for the White House.

Schultz posted a letter to supporters on his website explaining the decision not to run for president as an independent candidate. He noted 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.”

Schlutz, who cited the rise of far-left and far-right rhetoric as a cause of political gridlock, wrote that he didn’t want to steal the thunder of a moderate candidate like Joe Biden. The deadline for Schultz to submit signatures to qualify for the ballot comes before the Democratic primary is likely to be decided, so he wouldn’t know who he was up against.

“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 teased running as a centrist independent candidate in January. He discussed his vision on a multi-state tour to promote his newly-released book, From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America. But the campaign fizzled in April when Schultz’ began experiencing back problems. In June, Schultz paused his campaign amid some key staff losses.

Schultz wrote in the letter that he will funnel the cash he planned to spend on his campaign, upwards of $100 million per Axios, “supporting bold and creative initiatives to transform our broken system and address the disparity of opportunity that plagues our nation.” One of his first projects will be to “advocate for increased national service opportunities for young people.

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