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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz endorses Biden

Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden in a Monday letter in which he called on Americans to vote "for the future of our republic."

Schultz, who briefly considered a 2020 presidential campaign, said he and his wife Sheri Schultz will vote for the former vice president and donate to his campaign.

"In my view, our choice this November is not just for one candidate over another," he said in the letter. "We are choosing to vote 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," he added. 

The former CEO said it was "essential" for Americans to vote in the upcoming election and to do so "safely, whether by mail or in person" amid the coronavirus pandemic. He warned that "it would be a grave miscalculation to think this election is secured for a Biden victory."

The former Starbucks executive acknowledged he had considered a 2020 campaign that he had hoped would promote the need to overcome partisanship and divisiveness. But he said he determined a Schultz campaign "was not the best way for me to give back to a country that has given me so much."

In his letter, Schultz labeled a Biden win over President Trump as "the first step to repair and rebuild the country" in his call for healing and bridge-building. 

"The months and years to follow are a time not for Democrats to exact revenge and enact a far-left agenda," he said. "Rather, it will be a vital opportunity to bring a scarred, divided nation together."

Schultz said he and his wife are supporting nonpartisan initiatives to "defend the legitimacy of our elections and ensure that the winner is not declared in the presidential contest until all votes are tallied."

The couple will also back organizations that support "historically marginalized groups and those who haven't yet made voting a habit."

The former Starbucks executive's endorsement comes just less than 50 days before the November election. Biden has recently been leading in national polls, but Democrats are worried 2016 will repeat itself, when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led in polls over President Trump but lost on Election Day.

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