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Madison Park resident considers ‘centrist independent’ run for president

Schultz inside the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks for a 2015 forum on race and policing (Image: Casey Jaywork for CHS)

Could America elect a president who probably couldn’t even win a race for his own district’s City Council seat?

Probably not.

But former Starbucks CEO and longtime Madison Park lakefront mansion resident Howard Schultz is apparently passing up his opportunity to challenge socialist incumbent Kshama Sawant for her seat representing his District 3 on the Seattle City Council in 2019 and, instead, gearing up for a “centrist independent” run for president in 2020.

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“It feels good to be here. My hope is to share my truth, listen to yours, build trust, and focus on things that can make us better,” Schultz posted over the weekend kicking off waves of buzz about his prospects. The former CEO also is publicizing his new book.

Schultz has called Madison Park home for more than 20 years. His 16,000-square-foot waterfront mansion on 42nd Ave E is now worth somewhere around $30 million. Before moving into the gated Reed Estate community where he now lives, Schultz built a fancy new house near Viretta Park — and pissed off his neighbors by incorporating portions of the public green space into the property.

In D3, while the controversy over Viretta Park has likely faded, the coffee magnate would be ground up and spit out by constituents still angered by his $350 million sale of the city’s NBA franchise to Oklahoma buyers. Combined with worries about an independent run by Schultz damaging Democratic hopes in 2020 and handing Trump the White House — again — and animosity about a billionaire trying to run the country, we’re going to guess that Schultz’s local approval ratings among non-Starbucks team members are pretty low.

Locally, Schultz hasn’t been a visible player in District 3’s community and political arenas. In 2015, he joined then SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole in a forum on racism and policing held at the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks. “We all know that there are very serious problems going on in America today around racism, racial tension,” Schultz said at the 2015 forum, held in the wake of rising tensions and protests over police shootings. Schultz said at the time that his company was “heartbroken” over the tension between black communities and police and had decided to use “stores and our scale to elevate a national conversation” on the topic. The following week, the chain launched “Race Together” campaign in stores across the country.

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18 thoughts on “Madison Park resident considers ‘centrist independent’ run for president

  1. Love the framing of this article. A true D3 story!!

    I (sort of) get the desire for a centrist businessman type as president. Not for myself, maybe, but I get the appeal.

    But why go with Schultz over Bloomberg in that case? Bloomberg has actual political experience. Genuinely curious about the thinking here.

  2. I don’t really care about losing the Sonics… but it is so incredibly wrong for Schultz to have sold the Sonics because Seattle wouldn’t pay for a new arena. It’s civic blackmail, shows a lack of support for the other meaningful things the city could do with those hundreds of millions of dollars, and really goes to show you where his priorities are. How can he honestly say he wants to run a campaign for the American people when he wasn’t even willing to put his neighbors above his own bottom line. I’m also a centrist D, the kind of person Schultz thinks he’ll win over. Nope.

  3. The first time President Schultz is unable to get something though Congress, he will turn around and sell the Statue of Liberty to Qatar. They want a new tourist attraction for Doha.

  4. Dear Mr. Schultz:

    Don’t. Just don’t. You want to run for public office? Try Mayor or Governor. Try the House or Senate. I’ll give your candidacy full consideration. If we’ve learned anything over the past 2 years it’s this- President of the United States is not an entry level position! Put your ego aside and direct your ambition to a place where you can prove you can govern, not dictate. Then we’ll see.

    Sincerely, your admirer,


  5. Oh geeze, here we go again. Not unlike the Green Party….parachuting in every other major election or so, presuming to run somebody right at the top w/o ever doing grassroots ground work and establishing a track record. Trash the election, then disappear for another few years, then re-emerge and do it all again. They need to
    get a track record in local positions first.

    Too true JayH– President ≠ job for entry-level politicians.

  6. I say go for it, there aren’t any disagreements with me on most any progressive policy point that Howard holds. I’m not a big fan of party politics, I’m not a joiner by nature. Howard can always take on a progressive Dem (Kamala Harris?) as a running mate later into the election as the field shakes out, that would bring on the Dems and he will have garnered the independent support by then. I would hope that thinking folks will concentrate their efforts and vitriol against Trump and his lap dog GOP and not torpedo each other.
    Let him run, it’s his right and you can always do what you think is best.

    • Do you think having a millionaire businessman with absolutely no prior military or govt experience as president has worked out well for our country? There should be minimum job requirements for the most powerful job in the world. Did Schultz hire people without experience to run his company just because they were wealthy and arrogant enough to think they deserved the job? I highly doubt it.

  7. The GOP is actively working on their bylaws so that Trump won’t be primaried. So any reasonable conservative would probably support an independent GOP candidate who of course couldn’t call the,selves a Republican. So we’d have the potential of four candidates, Trump, Dem, Schulz (I) and hypothetical conservative (I).

    I’m also not convinced that if Bernie Sanders doesn’t do well in the Democratic primaries that he won’t run as an independent. 2020 promises to be a sh!tshow.

    • wait…back up there for a minute, to that “any reasonable conservative” part. Have you seen *ANY* evidence of them in the last 15 or so years? I haven’t.

      Would those be the same “reasonable conservatives” that have been toeing the line for this supremely unqualified and corrupt administration– or would it be the ones that have been so quick to call him out and cross the aisle? Would it be the ones who helped deny Obama his Supreme Ct. pick and go on to confirm Kavanaugh?

      I don’t know where these “reasonable conservatives” have been hiding, cuz I sure haven’t seen them.

  8. I think we’ve had about enough of old white guys ‘sharing their truth,’ time to try someone else. Anyone else.

  9. Hey Schultz, the ultra-wealthy are the problem with our society, not the solution. Just consider yourself lucky the guillotine is not in fashion and find another vanity project.

  10. This is a terrible idea. The worst part of it is that his independent candidacy would split the anti-Trump vote, and we would surely have another term with the orange one.

  11. After all the pearl-clutching outrage Republicans have shrieked about in recent years from Starbucks and Schultz’s actions there, none of them will ever see him as anything but a Democrat (supoprt for marriage equality, ‘war on Christmas’ with their holiday cups, etc.). Which I’m sure he basically is. That means all his support would come from Democrats peeling off. Just what we need, again.

  12. A “Ross Perot” redux “independent” candidate who’ll siphon off Democrats and independents, leading to the re-election of President Trump?

    Or will the campaign amount to just a couple of mega-wealthy guys comparing the size of their . . . . airplanes and yachts?

    I see popcorn futures soaring. Stay tuned.

  13. Great headline- Schultz for president – yawwnnn..

    Now, Schulz for city council, against Kshama! Woo! Go for it Schultz!!