Orlando attorney John Morgan said the lack of ‘fire’ and unhappiness with the two major political parties were influences in why he decided not to run for Governor of Florida in 2018.
Morgan, who said on Friday that he would not — as widely rumored — seek the Democratic nomination for governor, expanded upon his reasoning in a video posted to his Facebook page on Tuesday.
“To run for something like this, you have to really have a fire in your belly,” Morgan said in the video. “There were some days I woke up and I was 100 percent going to do it, and there were other days, particularly in places like St. Barts or Newport Beach and I go ‘my God this will be a lot of work.’”
Morgan became a popular name among political circles for a gubernatorial run after 2016, when a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana passed with the support of 71 percent of the voters. Morgan was one of the major backers and public faces of the amendment.
A poll conducted by Florida Atlantic University in August had Morgan as the leading candidate among Democratic voters, pulling in 19 percent of the vote, ahead of former Congresswoman Gwen Graham. Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum and Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine are also running as Democrats.
“One of the complaints I heard a lot of was that I was stopping them from raising money or getting traction or catching fire, and that’s the last thing I want to do especially since I’m unsure,” Morgan said.
In the video, Morgan also said that he doesn’t believe that either the Democratic or Republican parties fit him or his views, calling himself a “compassionate capitalist.” He criticized Congressional Republicans for tax cuts which he said benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, and criticized Democrats for being “giveaway, giveaway, free, free, free.”
“I’m not a black box, and I’m not a white box, and I don’t want to be pegged in either one,” Morgan said. “So I made a decision that I’m going to extricate myself from the party system, because I don’t think either one got it right.”
What’s unclear is if this opens the door for Morgan to make a run at the governor’s mansion as an independent. Both in the video and on Twitter Morgan wouldn’t rule out the possibility. When asked by POLITICO Florida, he only said he was ruling out running as a Democrat.
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