The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods is apparently considering a presidential run as a third-party candidate.
Politico reports that Ed Stack, a longtime Republican donor, is exploring whether to enter the crowded 2020 field. He has tested various messages to a focus group in Wisconsin.
The focus group participants were asked to compare Stack in three-way races against President Trump and either of the two 2020 Democratic frontrunners, former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).
The messaging in the focus group reportedly focused on Stack’s “leadership” after he said Dick’s destroyed more than $5 million worth of guns when his company made the decision to no longer sell assault-style rifles following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
A focus group participant who remained unidentified spoke to Politico and said others in the group cited Stack’s age as a concern.
“[Focus group members] mentioned that if Biden’s getting the criticism that he looked old, Ed Stack didn’t look young either,” the participant said.
Stack, at 64 years of age, is younger than Trump, Biden and Warren.
The participant added that some in the focus group felt Stack “didn’t have the charisma it would take to attract a coalition that you’d need to have a chance as a third-party candidate.”
A source close to Stack downplayed his interest in a presidential bid, saying: “Mr. Stack enjoys running Dick’s Sporting Goods and has no plans to run for any elected office.”
Stack in recent weeks has made several speaking appearances in support of his new book, titled “It’s How We Play the Game.”
Last week, the CEO called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for not bringing the House-passed gun reform bill to the Senate floor for a vote.
“I wish he’d have the guts to bring it to a vote,” Stack told Business Insider.