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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announces support for Biden presidential bid

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Howard Schultz announced his support for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden Monday, as well as for “nonpartisan initiatives to defend the legitimacy of our elections.”

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Schultz cited the defeat of incumbent President Donald Trump as “the first step to repair and rebuild our country,” and that his decision to vote for Biden is one he’s casting for “the future of our republic.”

“What is at risk is democracy itself: Checks and balances. Rigorous debate. A free press. An acceptance of facts, not “alternate facts.” Belief in science. Trust in the rule of law. A strong judicial system. Unity in preserving all of our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Schultz said in a letter posted to his personal website.

To that end, the former Starbucks CEO vowed to back organizations “that are mobilizing historically marginalized groups and those who haven’t yet made voting a habit,” in addition to groups working to ensure that “the winner is not declared in the presidential contest until all votes are tallied.”

Schultz had previously weighed a presidential bid of his own in 2019, before opting not to move forward with it last September, stating that “an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country.” At the time, he chose not to endorse a Democratic candidate, levying criticism against a political climate “largely tuned out of political life online and in the news, leaving the extreme voices to define the debate.”

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Now, Schultz believes that Biden’s campaign — as well as the former vice president’s outreach to working class voters in the Midwest and Rust Belt — is “a crucial first step in the bridge-building and healing we need as a nation.”

“We are supporting this critical work by helping to engage voters in these swing states,” he noted.

In the days ahead, he plans to fully invest his time and energy into the Schultz Family Foundation and the Emes Project, the latter of which will be focused on bringing “an entrepreneurial lens to public-private partnerships, strategic advocacy, policy changes, and political reform.” The former of the two will continue its mission to support “a range of philanthropic initiatives across the United States to lift populations out of risk, particularly young people and post-9/11 veterans.”

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