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Schultz Puts Presidential Hopes on Hold

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 17:04

Howard Schultz, the former chairman and chief executive of the Starbucks chain who is considering a run for president as an independent candidate, has put that deliberation on hold following three separate surgeries, he recently told supporters. 

Mr. Schultz, who Forbes magazine said has a net worth of $3.7 billion, owns a nearly five-acre property on Gracie Lane in East Hampton Village with his wife, Sheri Kersch-Schultz, who oversees the Schultz Family Foundation, which links disadvantaged youth and veterans to jobs. 

The couple, who bought the property in 1995, have been before the village’s zoning board of appeals on multiple occasions seeking to build or maintain various structures on the property. Last September, they were granted a coastal erosion hazard area variance to allow the reconstruction of a swimming pool and spa with alterations, as well as a variance allowing the pool to fall within the side-yard setback. 

In January, Mr. Schultz published “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America,” and appeared on the CBS newsmagazine program “60 Minutes” and in The New York Times. In The Times, he told Andrew Ross Sorkin, who had interviewed Mr. Schultz at the East Hampton Library last August as part of the library’s Tom Twomey Series of conversations, that he was preparing a presidential bid as an independent “and had already begun the groundwork required to be on the ballot in all 50 states.” He told The Times that he would travel the country for three months as part of a tour to promote “From the Ground Up” before making a decision as to whether to seek the presidency.

“In the months since I announced that I am considering running for president as a centrist independent, I have been traveling the country, talking with and listening to people in 15 states,” Mr. Schultz wrote in a June 12 email. “I’ve met with thousands of people, from family farmers in Kansas and veterans in Colorado to college students in Texas and small-business owners in Florida. So many have been exceedingly gracious and forthcoming about their lives — their problems as well as their achievements, their worries as well as their hopes. What I saw and heard provided a beautiful window into the strong soul of our country.”

While in Arizona, he wrote, he was forced to curtail his travels because of acute back pain. “Over the following two months, I underwent three separate back surgeries. Today, I am feeling much better, and my doctors foresee a full recovery so long as I rest and rehabilitate. I have decided to take the summer to do just that.”

“I take this detour from the road reluctantly,” Mr. Schultz continued. “My concern for our country’s future remains, as does my belief that the American people deserve so much more from our elected officials.” He thanked supporters and said that he looked forward to resuming his exploratory efforts after Labor Day. 

Mr. Schultz is critical of both major political parties in “From the Ground Up,” particularly of President Trump. “We’re living at a most fragile time,” he told CBS’s Scott Pelley. “Not only the fact that this president is not qualified to be the president, but the fact that both parties are consistently not doing what’s necessary on behalf of the American people.” Instead, both parties engage in “revenge politics,” he said.