John Morgan is the champion of medical marijuana legalization for the state of Florida. The very successful lawyer played a major role in having Amendment 2 added to the ballot last November that voters approved to expand the state’s medical marijuana laws. He has mentioned a number of times publicly an interest in running for governor and said he would support recreational legalization of cannabis. However, he is certainly making it interesting by claiming that he will be leaving the political party he has supported for decades. Would you still vote for John Morgan as governor of Florida if he ran as an Independent?
One of Florida’s most prolific Democratic donors, a bourbon-swilling, salty-tongued lawyer with his own slogan and medical marijuana as his pet cause, is out.
In a series of tweets Friday morning, John Morgan announced his flirtation with running for governor as a Democrat is over, as is his affiliation with either political party.
“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,” he wrote.
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
He said he plans to register as an independent and vote for “the lesser of two evils.” If he were to run, he said, he would run as an independent.
This likely isn’t great news for Florida’s Democratic Party, which has traditionally counted on Morgan to open his wallet for its candidates. He’s been known to host fundraising dinners for Hillary Clinton and charge thousands of dollars a plate.
But Morgan said the tweets don’t mean he’s out of the race altogether.
“As a Democrat, yes,” he said. “I’m not sure about what I want to do, but I know what I don’t want to do.”
Morgan said his disillusionment with the Democratic Party has been brewing. He bought a table at the State Democratic Conference this year, but left before it was over, he said.
“It was just blah, blah, blah,” he said. “Talking a lot but saying nothing.”
Morgan, 61, has publicly mulled a run for governor in a state where he has widespread name recognition for his large legal firm — slogan: “Morgan & Morgan, for the people” — and his role in getting medical marijuana on the ballot twice. The wealthy businessman, who also owns amusement parks, hotels, a software company and three thoroughbred race horses, said he would largely self-finance his campaign.
That’s how he pushed his previous political project — medical marijuana. Morgan poured millions of his own money into getting the measure on the ballot, where it failed the first time and overwhelmingly succeeded the second time, in 2016. He’s also using his own money to sue the state for improperly implementing the law, he said.