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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist joins fight to draft John Morgan for governor



A former governor is joining the calls for Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan to run for governor in 2018.

Congressman and former Gov. Charlie Crist tells the Times/Herald that Morgan, who bankrolled this year's medical marijuana amendment, would be "outstanding" as governor.

"He would be a populist with a tremendous heart, a great sense of what's important to people and his fellow man and he would be a great governor," Crist said. "I don't have any idea if he has any interest, but I hope he does."


Crist has long been politically tied to Morgan. He works at the Morgan & Morgan law firm, whose lawyers constituted a major chunk of the contributions to Crist's congressional race this year and his gubernatorial run in 2014.

An asset, said Crist, who served one term as governor from 2007 to 2011 and lost a second run for the office in 2014, would be Morgan's outsider status and progressive ideology. In addition to funding this year's medical marijuana initiative, Morgan has spoken openly about decriminalizing the drug and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

"He would fire up the base. He would fire up independents," Crist said.

In recent days, Democratic consultants including a close Morgan ally, Ben Pollara, launched a campaign to draft Morgan for a 2018 run. Gov. Rick Scott is term-limited and a wide field is emerging to replace him, especially among Democrats.

For his own part, Morgan has not spoken publicly. He did not reply to emailed questions this week about his interest in running.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 10:44am]


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