John Morgan talks minimum wage, education, but mum on 2018 gubernatorial run

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist
Headline Goes Here John Morgan

Orlando attorney John Morgan, center.

ORLANDO, Fla. - In a wide-ranging speech, John Morgan touched on issues facing Florida from immigration to minimum wage and education, but did not confirm or deny if he would run for governor in 2018.

The Orlando lawyer spoke at the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club Friday afternoon in Pensacola in what was speculated to be an announcement that the 60-year-old would run or endorse another candidate for Florida governor.

Morgan mentioned many possible Republican and Democrat candidates, complementing their achievements, but stopped short of saying the candidate pool was complete.

“So when I look at the cast of characters out there, I think we’re almost OK,” Morgan said.

Morgan’s most recently helped pass the medical marijuana Amendment 2 on Nov. 8 with more than 70 percent of the vote.

The ballot measure allows medical marijuana prescriptions for 10 additional illnesses: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis. It also allows doctors to prescribe pot for any other similar kind of ailment.

Morgan estimated he spent between $8 million and $9 million of his own money to help push for the Amendment’s approval.

Ben Pollara, a longtime political consultant, told Politico that he filed paperwork with the state to create the "For the Governor Political Committee,” which is a play on Morgan's the “For the People” slogan.

Morgan confirmed in an online statement on Nov. 17 that he was considering a run for Florida governor in 2018.

The biggest takeaway from Morgan’s 40-minute speech, that could be a future political platform, was that if he doesn’t run in 2018 he said he plans to stay involved in state politics but possibly with another amendment. This time aimed at increasing minimum wage in Florida.

“Minimum wage in America is a joke,” he said. “You can’t live on $7 or $8 an hour.”

Addressing complaints of immigrants taking jobs from U.S. citizens Morgan said, “They’re doing the jobs none of us would ever do.”

“Who wants to pick strawberries for $80 a week?” Morgan asked.

Leaving the question of a run for office unanswered Morgan said he doesn’t have to run, because he’s got a pretty good life vacationing in St. Barts and spending time with his three grandchildren.

“I don’t know if I will,” he said.

Encouraging people to find “peace from each other” Morgan closed out his talk with the “Fruit of Silence” prayer from Mother Teresa.

“The fruit of silence is prayer," he said. "The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace.”

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