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John Morgan says no to independent bid for Florida governor

Orlando attorney John Morgan will not run for Florida governor in 2018 — not even as an independent.

Morgan, recognized for his ubiquitous TV ads for his law firm, Morgan and Morgan, took to Twitter Thursday night to rule out an independent bid for the Governor’s Mansion.

“People ask if I would ever run as an Independent,” Morgan tweeted. “No way.”

Recognizing the difficulty of running an independent, statewide campaign, Morgan wrote, “Independents never win and only act as a spoiler.”

Gov. Rick Scott is leaving office due to term limits. Several Republican and Democratic candidates have already lined up to replace him.

Last November, Morgan exited the Democratic Party and said he could not “muster the enthusiasm to run for the nomination.” However, in that Facebook post, Morgan left open the door to running with no party affiliation.

“I plan to register as an Independent and when I vote, vote for the lesser of two evils,” Morgan wrote. “And if I ever ran, run as an Independent. #ForThePeople.”

Since that time, Morgan has continued to use social media to gauge interest in his candidacy.

In 2016, after the success of the constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in Florida, the outspoken Orlando attorney — a significant backer of Amendment 2 — told supporters: “the outpouring of encouragement to run for governor has been overwhelming and unexpected … It is either extremely flattering that so many people put such faith in me, or sad that people have so little faith in the typical politicians of both parties who are expected to seek the office.”

The statement was in response to an online petition started by Ben Pollara, the South Florida political consultant who worked with Morgan on Amendment 2.

Called “For the Governor,” the petition sought to enlist Morgan to run, gathering about 2,000 signatures. Pollara told the Orlando Sentinel that the reaction on social media has also been positive.

But Morgan warned: “Before I go down this road any further I need a lot of time to think about it … There are obvious drawbacks and hurdles.”

Now that he’s ruled himself out of running, does Morgan have a favorite in the race? Perhaps one of his former Democratic colleagues or maybe his friend, House Speaker Richard Corcoran? If he does, Morgan isn’t saying.

“May the best man OR woman win,” Morgan tweeted.

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Michael Moline, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
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