That criticism grew more pronounced last week after CNN announced it would hold a town hall with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Schultz, unlike several elected Democratic officials, is undecided about running for president, has little evident support in public polls, and is attempting to promote his current book. But he has been awarded a platform that many actually announced candidates have yet to be given, leaving Democrats with the impression that a candidate’s celebrity is, once again, being prioritized over other campaign elements, including grassroots energy or small-dollar support…

But some Democratic candidates —mainly the lesser known ones—are already feeling neglected. In the past week, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential exploratory committee reached out to CNN seeking information about a town hall of their own, though an invite has not yet been extended, The Daily Beast has learned. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro’s campaign has not been invited to hold one but a senior adviser for the campaign said they were encouraged by CNN’s efforts to give “declared presidential candidates a chance to talk directly to voters.” The two men have recently done interviews with CNN hosts on other programs.

The campaigns for Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and John Delaney (D-MD) have not received invitations, spokespeople told The Daily Beast. And at least one other Democratic presidential campaign sent a critical email to CNN after the Schultz announcement, according to a source directly familiar with the exchange. Underscoring the sensitivity of these exchanges, the campaign declined to be identified or to show The Daily Beast the email correspondence.