Potential 2020 presidential contender Howard Schultz meets with Kansas voters

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A 2020 presidential hopeful is making his case to Kansas voters this week, and he's the first potential candidate to meet one-on-one with voters in the metro.

Howard Schultz is considering a White House bid as an independent, and on Tuesday, he hosted a town hall at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park.

More than a hundred students, staff and community members came to listen to former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz talk about his vision for the country.

"We've got to provide hope and opportunity to everyone in the country in ways we haven't in a long time," Schultz said.

Schultz said he's a centrist and would apply beliefs of both major parties. He used immigration as an example: supporting Trump's tough stance on border patrols and enforcement, but embracing Democratic demands to protect "dreamers" and offering pathways to citizenship for those living here undocumented.

He fielded questions on topics ranging from education and health care to the national debt and taxes.

"These are issues I think every one of them should have been solved a long time ago. Not only are they systemic in terms of how problematic and complex they are, but they are problematic because both parties ideology have failed in their leadership responsibility to the American people," Schultz said.

Voters listening to the town hall seemed interested in his ideas.

"I found it was quite interesting how he feels so strongly both parties have become too extreme and need a balance and new party to come in and shake things up a little bit," Joshua Sanders said.

But some still aren't convinced there's a real path for an independent to become president.

"However, I'm always glad to have more voices with new ideas entering themselves in the political realm," Collin Gustin said.

Schultz said he'd restore dignity and grace to the Oval Office and focus on making sure everyone has a fair shot at success.

He's now seeing if voters around the country will be convinced that a different solution is the way to get there.

"The decision is to embrace the status quo, which could lead to decline, more decline at home and around the world, or can we disrupt, finally disrupt and transform the system," Schultz said.

Schultz is touring Kansas the next couple days and said he'll decide whether to officially declare his candidacy within the next few months.

Of course, it's a long road to the next election. Those taking part in this town hall said they're encouraged to see so many fellow voters interested and engaged in the process.

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