Andrew Gillum, John Morgan Reignite Feud Over Unspent Campaign Money

Jul 15, 2019

Attorney John Morgan speaks to reporters outside the Leon County Courthouse (photo undated).
Credit Nick Evans / WFSU News

Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Attorney John Morgan are once again sparring. Morgan continues to slam Gillum over the former Democratic gubernatorial nominee's use of money left over from Gillum’s failed 2018 bid. 

Gillum left more than $3.5 million  in his campaign account-- money Morgan has repeatedly said could have helped Gillum win. The powerful attorney has called on Gillum to put that unspent cash toward paying restitution and court fees so felons can regain their right to vote or returning it to donors.

Gillum recently transferred $500,000 to his non-profit, Forward Florida, which is a voter registration group. Yet in a series of tweets over the weekend Morgan questioned the move, and labeled Gillum’s group a “slush fund”.  He also called for exploring a lawsuit against Gillum and said  “Thank God for Florida that @Governor Ron DeSantis won.”

But Gillum fired back, saying Morgan told him to drop out of the primary to make way for former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, and that he doesn’t take advice from “Trump impersonators and DeSantis suck-ups”.

Morgan, who supported Gillum, is accusing him of keeping a last-minute contribution from him that was meant to pay for ads in the final weeks of the race.

The two have been feuding publically online since Morgan launched his initital criticism of Gillum in May.

Gillum reached a settlement with the Florida Ethics Commission to drop four of five charges--stemming from two personal trips he took while in office, one to New York and another to Costa Rica with his former friend and lobbyist, Adam Corey. Offiials allege he illegally accepted free lodging and tickets to the play, Hamilton.  Gillum and the Commission settled for a $5,000 penalty for accepting a gift over $100.

The ethics investigation played a central role in Gillum’s 2018 bid for governor. In a race decided by just four tenths of a percent, now-Gov. Ron DeSantis repeatedly slammed Gillum throughout the campaign for being a corrupt politician.