John Morgan rules out Democratic bid for Florida governor; is indie run possible?

John Morgan at a 2014 event supporting medical marijuana (Erica Brough/The Gainesville Sun)

Trial lawyer John Morgan who has topped at least one poll for the Democratic nomination for Florida governor in 2018 — told Twitter followers this morning he won’t seek the party’s nomination.

Morgan, the state’s leading advocate for medical marijuana legalization, dangled the possibility of an independent bid in a subsequent tweet.

“Spent all of Thanksgiving with my whole family. While it’s amazing to be leading the polls for Governor without being a candidate I can’t muster the enthusiasm to run for the nomination,” Morgan tweeted at 9:56 a.m.

In a subsequent tweet, Morgan added: “And I can’t muster enthusiasm for any of today’s politicians. They are all the same. Both parties. I plan to register as an Independent and when I vote, vote for the lesser of two evils. And if I ever ran, run as an Independent. #ForThePeople.”

Morgan has been a huge wild card in the Democratic race. The Lake Mary resident has never run for office, but has been active in politics as a Democratic fundraiser and the prime mover behind the successful 2014 medical marijuana amendment to the Florida constitution. He also has high name recognition through his statewide Morgan & Morgan personal injury law firm.

A September poll by the Florida Chamber of Commerce found Morgan leading the field of potential and declared Democratic candidates for governor with 23 percent, followed by former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham at 16 percent. Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Winter Park businessman Chris King and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine have opened Democratic campaigns for governor.

The Republican field includes Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, with House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land-O’Lakes, and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Palm Coast, expected to open campaigns as well.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott faces term limits in 2018.


Author: George Bennett

George Bennett has been a Palm Beach Post reporter since 1992. He grew up in Bethesda, Md. and is a graduate of The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @gbennettpost

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