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Jay Inslee and Howard Schultz
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Gov. Jay Inslee to Howard Schultz: Run as a Democrat, or not at all


Washington State Governor Jay Inslee responded to Howard Schultz’s potential independent bid for the presidency Wednesday, telling CBS News that the former Starbucks CEO should “come into the pool and compete as a Democrat” if he wants to make a run at the White House.

RELATED: Inslee speaks out on shutdown, edges closer to 2020 run

“No one in America should give Donald Trump a helping hand to become reelected as president of the United States,” Inslee told CBS. “The devastation that that man could cause is profound and well known.”

For Schultz, controversy has followed him around since he first indicated he was considering a presidential run as an independent.

Washingtonians malign Schultz less for his politics, and more his key role in moving the Seattle Sonics to Oklahoma City in 2008.

On a wider nationwide scale, there’s concern among Democrats that running as an independent will essentially hand President Trump a second term.

“I do know that anyone who would run as an independent and clearly split the Democratic vote, and clearly help Donald Trump, that would be a terrible decision,” said Inslee. “Do not help Donald Trump — that’s really inexcusable.”

Gov. Inslee has made it no secret that he’s weighing a presidential run of his own, and is expected by many to officially enter the fray sometime in the next few weeks.

During the recent federal government shutdown, Inslee visited New Hampshire, the state where the second presidential primary is traditionally held, and often is a focal point of candidates looking to build early momentum.

RELATED: Inslee speaks on ‘new tipping point’ in State of the State address

Earlier in January, he traveled to Nevada to deliver a keynote address at a progressive summit. Nevada will be home to the third presidential primary in 2020 on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Not so coincidentally, Inslee visited Iowa in June, the site of the first 2020 presidential primary on Monday, Feb. 3.

Schultz has yet to officially launch his own campaign, but has maintained that he’s “seriously thinking” about the possibility. He’ll be speaking at Seattle’s Moore Theatre on Thursday, where a protest will be held across the street under the moniker of “Pick a Party.”

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