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John Morgan: I'm Leaving the Democratic Party

November 25, 2017 - 4:45pm
John Morgan
John Morgan

Once rumored to be a possible frontrunner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Orlando superattorney John Morgan is leaving the party.

Morgan made the announcement in a series of tweets posted Friday morning. 

“Spent all of Thanksgiving with my whole family,” Morgan wrote. “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’s epiphany to leave the party, he said, was spurred from an overall blasé attitude about the state of current politicians. 

Both the Republican and the Democratic parties, Morgan said, didn’t offer much to keep him affiliated with any party. 

“I can’t muster enthusiasm for any of today’s politicians. They are all the same,” Morgan said. “Both parties.”

Morgan then announced he planned to register with the Independent Party instead. 

“When I vote, [I will] vote for the lesser of two evils,” Morgan wrote. “And if I ever ran, run as an Independent.”

Morgan has been rumored to be contemplating a run for governor for months, with many of his supporters pushing him to join the pack of candidates all vying for the top job in Florida politics. 

Despite leading the field in Florida gubernatorial polls, Morgan would have joined a growing contest as a Democrat. 

Democrats already have four candidates to choose from — Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Orlando businessman Chris King and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine have all formally announced their campaigns. 

The Republican list of candidates is slightly smaller but still stands to grow. Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam was the first Republican candidate to jump in the race while state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, has also announced he will be seeking the GOP nomination.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, is also rumored to be mulling over a bid, as is U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis.

Morgan told Politico Florida he thinks U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson should also jump in the race, saying he could have a “legacy” he would not otherwise have in the Senate. 

Morgan has not ruled out a run for governor as an independent candidate, but the Orlando attorney has said he’s confident he would sail past other candidates if he ran in 2018.

“I think I could make the case better than most because what I do for a living is make cases,” Morgan told SSN. “I have the ability to simplify things where people can understand it in real terms."

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, though.

“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.”

Though he has often been a prominent Democratic fundraiser, Morgan would have to raise a significant amount of money to fund a gubernatorial bid.

Several candidates have already raised millions of dollars for their campaigns. 

Putnam and Levine topped their opponents in October committee fundraising, each raising a high six figures for their bids. Putnam currently has $12 million cash on hand and Levine has $5.4 million in the bank.

Other candidates like Gwen Graham have already raised close to $2.5 million, but other Democrats -- like Gillum and King -- have failed to gain much momentum in the fundraising game.

Levine said he is prepared to spend up to $25 million on his bid for governor. 


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