Dick’s CEO Tests Public Opinion for Possible 3rd-Party Presidential Bid

Gun control proponent frustrated by lack of action following mass shootings…

Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Brags About 'Destroying' $5M Worth of Firearms

Ed Stack / IMAGE: CBS Sunday Morning

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack, who removed home-defense rifles from the store’s shelves after the 2018 Parkland, Fla. mass-shooting, is reportedly looking into running a third-party presidential campaign.

A focus group in southern Wisconsin watched and scored presentations from the billionaire businessman, Politico reported.

The focus group tested how Stack would fare in a three-way race against President Donald Trump and either Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren.

Stack’s team of social scientists especially analyzed how participants responded to Stack “showing leadership” by discontinuing sales of AR-15 rifles at every Dick’s Sporting Goods store after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.


Politico’s unnamed source downplayed the focus group.

“Mr. Stack enjoys running Dick’s Sporting Goods and has no plans to run for any elected office,” the source said.

A member of the focus group provided paperwork from the study, showing that participants were shown short videos from Biden, Warren, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, another potential third-party candidate.

One of the questions was, “Would you be open to voting for a third party candidate?”

The results were not available.

“They mentioned that if Biden’s getting the criticism that he looked old, Ed Stack didn’t look young either,” the participant said.

He said some of the participants felt that 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.”

Stack has made traditional pre-campaign moves, such as releasing a book titled, “It’s How We Play the Game” and publicly criticizing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

“I wish he’d have the guts to bring it to a vote,” Stack said of gun control legislation.

Joe Hunter, who advised Gary Johnson’s 2012 and 2016 presidential bids for the Libertarian Party, said it’s difficult for third-party candidates to get on many ballots.

“It’s massive; all the structural, institutional barriers are really, really difficult … Absent having extraordinary resources, it would be difficult to put it together,” Hunter said.

Stack, a longtime Republican donor, appears to have switched sides recently, contributing to the campaign of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., as well as former astronaut Mark Kelly‘s bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz.

Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, is a vocal gun-control proponent.