Already reeling from scandals that forced the resignations of their top party leadership last week, Florida Democrats are now facing the daunting challenge of winning a crucial governor’s race without their top recruit John Morgan, who decided last week to not run and also leave the party. Morgan’s highly public split from the Democrats not only leaves them without their top candidate, but also without one of their most deep-pocketed supporters.
Before he left the party, Morgan was described by POLITICO as having “made a name for himself as a high-dollar Democratic donor,” giving massive contributions to Democrat statewide and federal candidates every year in Florida. But Morgan’s willingness to spend big on political causes was especially proven in 2014 when he pumped nearly $9 million of his own money to support a medical marijuana amendment. Morgan also has a long history of hosting events for Democrat candidates like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren. Morgan hosted multiple fundraisers for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, including one last September that had some seats go for as much as $100,000.
Morgan’s decision to abandon the Democratic Party does not bode well for the its chances of winning the Sunshine State’s highest office next year. With Democrat candidates already struggling to keep up with Republicans when it comes to fundraising, Morgan’s decision to jump ship on the party leaves them without one of their most reliable donors. As the lackluster field of Democrat gubernatorial candidates continue to struggle with anemic fundraising, legal troubles, and embarrassing gaffes, their chances of victory continue to diminish.