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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Buckhorn, Graham, Levine respond to John Morgan's possible gov campaign against them

18

November

Trial lawyer John Morgan's flirtation with running for the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor could upend what already looked like a potentially strong field of Democratic contenders. The Buzz asked their thoughts about Morgan, who is not only a potential rival but also a Democratic top money raisser with a short fuse - not someone an ambitious Democrat wants to antagonize:

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn: "I don't know John. Obviously he's been a supporter Democratic causes. He's been a loyal Democrat and he puts his money where his mouth is...Whether or not at this point in his life taking on that task is something he's interested in, I don't know. Certainly it is a different skillset required to be governor. But then again after last Tuesday's results I think the conventional rules are out the window. So ultimately the voters have to decide whether competence matters and whether experience matters."

Buckhorn said Morgan's possible candidacy has no bearing on his decision on running, which he expects to make in the first quarter of 2017. "I have the luxury of having a job that I love that gives me a platform every day...The best thing I can do if that's the route I choose to take is to keep doing my job. There's no one else in this race that has the platform that the mayor of Tampa does. I'm in the biggest media market in the state, and the ultimate swing area."

U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee: "As I finish my term in Congress, my priority remains serving the people of my district. John is a good friend, and I appreciate all the work he has done for those in need. The issues he raises are important for all of us to discuss. I look forward to having more discussions with John and many others as we work together to put the people of Florida first."

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine: "I've never met him, but I only hear great things about him.  I know he's supposedly an excellent lawyer and cares about the people and did an excellent job with medical marijuana."

Levine, who like Morgan is capable of spending millions of his own dollars on a campaign  said he has no time frame for a decision, and noted that he has three jobs - part-time mayor, the cruise ship business, and real estate. "When you're not in government you actually have a future if you don't want to run," he said.

[Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2016 10:52pm]

    

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