Orlando attorney John Morgan says he hasn’t given much thought to running for governor as an independent candidate, but didn’t entirely rule out the possibility in a video message posted Tuesday.
Morgan took to Twitter to elaborate on how he was feeling fresh off his departure from the party he has fundraised for and been heavily involved in for years, telling his followers he simply didn’t feel much attachment to either party philosophically.
“Over time I have found myself really looking at the two party system, Republicans and Democrats, and the truth of the matter is I find myself somewhere in the middle,” Morgan said. “..I don’t want to be pegged in either [category] so I decided it’s best for me to be independent.”
Instead, Morgan said what drives him politically is the desire to help others, calling himself a “compassionate capitalist.”
“We need to do the most for the most with the least,” Morgan said.
The orlando superattorney’s decision to leave the Democratic Party comes on the heels of several polls which have shown Morgan as the Dems’ best shot at the governor’s mansion in 2018.
Morgan, whose law firm Morgan and Morgan operates both state and nationwide, made a name for himself in 2014 and in 2016 when he spearheaded Florida’s medical marijuana initiative, becoming the spokesperson for the fight for Amendment 2.
Morgan’s desire to pass the amendment to expand the use of medical marijuana was so fervent he funneled millions of his own dollars into the campaign, raising the profile of United For Care and Morgan himself all the while.
His involvement in the medical marijuana initiative is what led supporters to push for a run for governor -- and Morgan said Tuesday he has definitely given the idea some thought, but with some hesitations.
“Earlier this year on the heels of a successful ballot initiative…[a run] was the furthest thing from my thought,” Morgan said. “The response to me and what I think and how I believe is overwhelming. But to run for something like this you have to really have a fire in your belly.”
Some days the idea of leading Florida is appealing to Morgan. Other days, he said he’d much rather be sitting on the beach simply enjoying life.
“There are some days I woke up and was 100 percent I’m going to do it, and there were days where I woke up…where I go, my God, this will be a lot of work,” Morgan explained.
Morgan has previously told Sunshine State News he has some reservations about the campaigning process and what the job as governor might entail on a day-to-day basis, since the job entails much more than just the title of governor.
“Is it my ego that’s driving this or is it my desire to make a difference? I have a huge ego and I have to make sure that’s not what’s driving this train,” Morgan said. “The final thing is do I want to be dealing with minutia. I don’t want to deal with little issues.”
Morgan was a shining light for the Democrats in what is likely going to be a tough battle for the governor's mansion next year. Many Democratic gubernatorial candidates are struggling to raise money and compete with their GOP opponents and none of them have quite the same name recognition as Morgan.
Still, it appeared Morgan hadn’t totally ruled out the possibility of running as an independent candidate. Independent voters currently make up 3.4 million voters in Florida and are often considered critical to swing elections toward either the Republican Party of Florida or the Florida Democratic Party, whose registration numbers are separated by about 300,000.
But at the end of the day, Morgan said right now running for governor wasn’t necessarily the first thought on his mind.
“I have no clue or no thought about [a run] right now,” he said.
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