Howard Schultz is ending his independent 2020 run for president. In a "Dear Friends" letter posted on his website, the ex-Starbucks CEO cites that third-party status as one of the reasons for his decision, which CNN notes will likely bring "great relief" to Democrats. "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," he writes. He adds that if he were to continue with his push for the presidency, he'd risk sucking votes away from a possible moderate Democratic nominee (Axios reads that as being a reference to Joe Biden), "and that is not a risk I am willing to take."
Schultz also notes he's still recuperating from multiple surgeries for a back injury, and that an "exhausted majority" of citizens "feel our government is not working for them." So what will he now do with the $100 million-plus he'd planned on spending on a 2020 bid? The 66-year-old says in his letter he'll keep working to reduce inequality and will "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 writes. He also asks everyone to hang tight and stick together. "I implore my fellow Americans not to become hopeless or complacent," he notes. "Let's agree that we owe our children a less divisive America, and that we have the power to create a healthier climate." (Read more Howard Schultz stories.)