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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democrats want to draft John Morgan to run for governor in 2018

Cameras aim at John Morgan after a 2014 debate with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd over medical marijuana.


Cameras aim at John Morgan after a 2014 debate with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd over medical marijuana.



Democratic consultants are trying to draft John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who just funded a successful medical marijuana campaign, to run for governor in 2018.

"Now we need John's courage and leadership in Tallahassee, where both of those qualities are sorely lacking," Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for the Morgan-funded pro-medical marijuana committee United for Care, wrote in an email to supporters. "I don't care whether he runs as a Democrat, Republican, Communist or Klingon, I want John Morgan to be Florida's next Governor. I want John Morgan to be MY next Governor."

Pollara and other consultants are collecting signatures on an online petition at, a play on the Morgan and Morgan law firm's slogan, "For the people."

Domain registration records for the site -- which declares, "Tallahassee is a failure" -- show it was created Nov. 7, the day before the election.

Pollara, a Miami-based political consultant, plans to create a political committee called For the Governor PC. He told Politico Florida that he has commitments for $25,000 in donations.

Morgan did not immediately reply to questions about his potential candidacy Monday morning.

But back in May, he said he wanted to push a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2018. If he could accomplish that and medical marijuana, Morgan said, "I will have done more than all the governors, senators and representatives put together" in the last century.

The Times/Herald asked him if a run for office was in his future.

"No," he said then in his typically blunt style. "I don't think I would even take the job ... just bullsh-----g each other and pulling each other's strings all day long. I'm better at doing this kind of thing."

The field is just starting to form for 2018's gubernatorial race. Among Democrats, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn are potential candidates. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is seen as a likely frontrunner for Republicans.

[Last modified: Monday, November 14, 2016 11:01am]


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