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John Morgan for governor? Still might happen, he says

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

When asked Thursday whether he was still contemplating a run for governor, John Morgan told reporters about his warning to his pal, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

“I told Richard Corcoran, the worst thing you could do to boost me is to limit smoke,” he said in Tallahassee, shortly after suing the state because it doesn’t allow medical marijuana to be lit and inhaled.

Morgan, the Orlando-based attorney and entrepreneur, backed the medical marijuana constitutional amendment that was OK’d by 71 percent of voters last year on the statewide ballot.

“I never thought I’d be the main bankroller of it all,” he said. “… I think it’s crazy what the Legislature has done to give me this platform … I’m going to take this wherever it leads me.”

Assuming he runs as a Democrat, he’d face former Tallahassee Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and Orlando businessman Chris King. Morgan has said it’d be “easy” for him to self-finance a campaign—at least at first.

One reporter questioned his reported interest in investing in a medical marijuana dispensary, asking about criticisms that he’s just trying to “cash in.”

“I wake up every day in a 100-percent effort to make money, and lots of it,” he said. “I’m never going to apologize for that. I’m leaving here to fly to my office in Brooklyn to make money. I’ll leave Brooklyn and fly to Atlanta to make money. And I’m going to start an insurance company in Florida this year to make money. And I’m going to build a new attraction in Branson, Missouri, to make money.”

He’s not “Mother Teresa” or “Pope Francis,” he added.

Can you make money as governor? he was asked. “I don’t think you can,” he said.

So what’s the plan for a Morgan in the Governor’s Mansion?

“Some days, hot. Some days, cold,” he said, mentioning he’s heading to New Hampshire for vacation soon. “I’m going to think about it. Like when you wanted to ask somebody on a date, you kind of knew whether they were going to say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ If I feel that way, maybe I will.

“I see no advantage in me announcing today or close to today,” he added. “I would hate to have to be holding coffee klatches or bullsh–ting people, telling everybody what they want to hear … and raising money.

“I have an advantage in that I (already) have name ID, for better or worse … I’m going to let the race take off, come all the way round, and I don’t have to make a decision until the horses are all coming down the stretch.”

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Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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