John Morgan Considering Governor's Race, But No Announcement Yet
Personal injury attorney John Morgan hasn’t entered the race for governor yet, but he seems to be going for a test drive. The 2018 election may not have officially started, but the speculation certainly has. And one of the state’s best known trial attorneys has his eye on Rick Scott’s office.
John Morgan has made a name for himself as vocal defender and sponsor of medical marijuana. He bankrolled the successful Amendment 2 campaign to expand access to the drug. The experience gave him a look at the personal challenges of politics.
“It was kinda like running for statewide office. But it was worth it because in the end we won. With 70% of the vote,” Morgan said.
He spent millions on the campaign, and presents the experience as a political launch pad.
“The guy who picked me up today, he said to me, he says, are you running for governor? I says, I don’t know, what do you think? He said, I hope you do. I’m going to vote for you. And I said why? Marijuana. And he told me his story. And I can tell you thousands and thousands of stories,” he said.
Morgan stands in stark contrast to other more polished potential candidates like Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and former Congresswoman Gwen Graham. Onlookers are even drawing comparisons between Morgan and President Donald Trump. Both are outsize personalities who are admired for speaking their minds, despite no experience in public office. Morgan could benefit from voters willing to overlook rough edges and loose talk.
“I have the great luxury of being able to say exactly what I think, exactly what I feel. And if it doesn’t catch on, my life is the same life," Morgan said. "I don’t have to walk down the middle of the road. There’s a politician in Texas who used to say, the only thing in the middle of the road is yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”
Were he to jump in the race, Morgan says he would boost the minimum wage, decriminalize marijuana, and end what he calls the war on public education. Breaking with convention, Morgan is currently on a statewide talking tour, instead of a listening tour. He says the response he gets will help inform his decision.