Democrat Leader Urges Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz To Not Run For President as Independent

Former Starbucks boss Howard Schultz has launched an exploratory bid to run for president in 2020 as an independent. The Democratic Party chairwoman in Washington state had a simple, two-word plea: "Please. Don't."

A report by Fox News Saturday night said Democratic Party Chairwoman Tina Podlodowski urged Schultz to reconsider, and to put national interest instead of personal political gain.

"Too much is at stake to make this about the ambitions of any one person," Podlodowski said. She continued in a statement this weekend, "The 2020 race for President has to be about relegating Donald Trump to the dustbin of history, and reclaiming the Oval Office for our people and our future."

A report in the Washington Post this week claims that Schultz's advisers have explored the possibility of the former coffee king running for president, which is sure to have a loaded Democrat field aiming to unseat President Trump in the 2020 election.

Schultz first floated the idea of running for office during a CBS This Morning interview in 2018 at the opening of a store in Milan, Italy.

"I'm thinking about a lot of things," Schultz said on the morning program. "I said publicly that perhaps one of them will be public office, but there's a lot of things I could do, perhaps to help the American people and help people who are not being served by this administration by not running for president. We'll have to see."

Podlodowski attempted to deflect his ambitions and remind Schultz that he was a Democrat first.

"You claim you're a lifelong Democrat, so if you want to run, run as a Democrat," the state Democrat party chair said. "Invest in the Party's infrastructure so that we can win the White House and the Senate and expand our majority in the House. You can even start at home, with the Washington State Democratic Party. Let's meet and I'll tell you about the programs we've built to run candidates in every race, and every place. We'd love for you to support us. After all, that's what Democrats do — we work together, using our skills and assets, to put people first and make our country better."

In 2016, self-proclaimed independent Bernie Sanders eventually ran for president as a Democrat, pulling much of the vote but losing to Hillary Clinton in the primary.

The Democratic field already has three name-brand candidates with Kirsten Gillibrand, Tulsi Gabbard and Julian Castro, but many more heavyweight names like Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Beto O'Rourke, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris haven't declared whether, or when, they'll make a bid.

According to, there are 142 Americans who have filed to run as a Democrat, followed by 64 Republicans, 18 Libertarians and 10 Green candidates.