Howard Schultz will not run for president.
The former Starbucks Corp. chairman and CEO posted a letter on his website saying he will no longer explore running as an independent. Last January, he announced that he was considering a presidential bid.
“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,” Schultz wrote. “Unfortunately, election rules in each state and the way this Democratic nomination process has unfolded pose another challenge: 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. 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 was heavily criticized by Democrats concerned that his possible candidacy would split the vote and hand the election to President Donald Trump.
Schultz’s announcement follows Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision to also drop out of the race.
There are still 20 candidates officially running for the Democratic nomination.