Howard Schultz to be featured at CNN town hall in Texas next week

Howard Schultz to be featured at CNN town hall in Texas next week
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CNN will host a town hall with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz next week in Texas as the businessman mulls a potential White House bid.

Schultz, who last month began publicly considering running for president as a "centrist independent," will take questions from voters "representing civic and educational organizations" at the Feb. 12 event in Houston, CNN announced Wednesday.

The live event will be moderated by "CNN Newsroom" anchor Poppy Harlow.

Schultz has been the focus of Democratic ire since he announced late last month that he was considering an independent presidential bid.

Democrats fear that the billionaire businessman running as an independent could split opposition to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE and help pave the way for Trump to be reelected in 2020.

Schultz, 65, resigned as Starbucks CEO in June 2018.

Tuesday's town hall will mark CNN's second such event this year featuring a declared or potential presidential candidate.

Last week, the network featured Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment MORE (D-Calif.), who has announced a White House campaign, at Drake University in Iowa.

CNN has held a variety of town hall events with politicians in recent years. In October, shortly before the midterm elections, it held one in Texas with then-Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkePoll: Sanders, Biden seen as most popular second choices in Dem primary O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could NBC, CNN to host first two Democratic presidential primary debates MORE (D).

O'Rourke, who is mulling joining the 2020 Democratic presidential field, has said he will make a decision this month on whether to launch a White House bid.