John Morgan to raise funds for Richard Corcoran as both consider run for governor

 John Morgan's Twitter
John Morgan's Twitter

Thursday night, the state's most famous liberal trial lawyer will raise money for the conservative Republican speaker of the House.

At the Orlando home of one of his firm's lawyers, John Morgan will be on hand to raise money for Watchdog PAC, a new committee that Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, founded last month.

The men are friends, as they've reminded people in the past. And in recent weeks, they have been in touch about one of Morgan's pet issues, medical marijuana, as the House and Senate negotiated legislation putting into effect Amendment 2, the Morgan-funded, voter-approved mandate giving some patients access to the drug.

"We'll show you our deep thanks for A2. You made it happen. Plain & simple!" Morgan tweeted last week. "I’ll bring Makers Mark & Caymus."

Still, the fundraiser is unusual on two counts.

For one thing, Morgan has threatened to sue the state -- including Corcoran -- over a ban on smoking marijuana, which lawmakers wrote into their legislation.

There's a second wrinkle: Both Morgan and Corcoran are considering running for governor in 2018. Corcoran is a steadfast Republican, and Morgan hasn't yet said whether he would run as a Democrat or without a party affiliation.

The fundraiser raises a logical question about whether that decision has been made.

This weekend, Morgan told the Times/Herald that he was still thinking about it.

"I believe strategically it is better for me to wait and watch," he said. "I see no advantage to announcing anytime soon. The field may change and as a non-candidate you don't have the restrictions of an announced candidate."

For his part, Corcoran has said he'll wait until after the 2018 legislative session, which ends in March, to make any announcements.