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Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor

Adam C. Smith

Political editor since 2001, Adam Smith was named the best political writer in Florida by and one of the country's Top 10 political reporters by the Columbia Journalism Review. He focuses on state and national politics.

Smith has been with the Times since 1992 and has covered local and state government, as well as general assignment and investigative beats. He appears most Sundays on Political Connections on Bay News 9, is a primary contributor to The Buzz political blog. Smith grew up in New York City, graduated Kenyon College in Ohio, and when he's not chasing politicians tries to keep up with his wife, three kids and basset hound.

Phone: (727) 893-8241


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @AdamSmithTimes

  1. Alan Grayson's girlfriend to run for his senate seat?


    Legislators carved the Orlando area's 9th Congressional District seat now held by Alan Grayson with an eye toward electing another Hispanic, and many see Democrat state Rep. Darren Soto as a strong fit for it should Grayson step down to run for U.S. Senate. Now Politico has unnamed sources saying Grayson's girlfriend might run for it:...

  2. The Republican who insists Rick Scott is worst Fla's worst ever gov.


    John Romano's column today looks at Republican political scientist Darryl Paulson's recent comment that Rick Scott is the worst governor Florida has ever seen.

    ..."His leadership has been so inconsistent, so flaky, you can almost say there has been no leadership," Paulson said. "The bottom line is he's done a terrible job for the state."......

    Rick Scott campaigning in 2010
  3. Winner and losers of the week in Florida politics


    Winner of the week - Florida Democrats.

    They may be impotent and borderline irrelevant in Tallahassee, but this week they can legitimately say that Republicans running the executive and legislative branches have proven themselves unable to govern.

    Loser of the week - Rick Scott, Steve Crisafulli, Andy Gardiner.

    You had one job, passing a budget, and a billion-dollar surplus to work with. You've actually made Congress look like a model of effectiveness by comparison, and that's no easy accomplishment....

  4. A George W. Bush 'pioneer' fundraiser helping Marco Rubio's Super PAC

    State Roundup

    It's no big surprise that Marco Rubio would have a Super PAC, Conservative Solutions PAC, set up to raise unlimited contributions to help his presidential campaign. What might surprise you is one of the names listed on the committee's paperwork filed with the Federal Election Committee: Nancy Watkins of Tampa.

    As in Robert and Nancy Watkins, the top Republican fundraisers who in 2004 were dubbed "Pioneers" in George W. Bush's re-election campaign for raising more than $100,000....

    FILE- In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, speaks to the media during a pre-legislative news conference in Tallahassee, Fla. Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli are beginning their first legislative session as their chambers' leaders with a unified front and much in common. Both are conservative Republicans with business backgrounds who list faith and family among their highest values. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File) MH202
  5. A 'Pioneer' Bush fundraiser is working on Marco Rubio Super PAC


    It'€™s no big surprise that Marco Rubio would have a Super PAC, Conservative Solutions PAC, set up to raise unlimited contributions to help his presidential campaign. What may surprise is one of the names listed on the committee’s paperwork filed with the Federal Election Committee: Treasurer Nancy Watkins of Tampa.

    As in Robert and Nancy Watkins, the top Republican fundraisers who in 2004 were dubbed "€œPioneers"€ in George W. Bush'€™s campaign for raising more than $100,000 for his re-election. Don'€™t read too much into it, said Mrs. Watkins, one of the country'€™s top campaign finance experts who works with Republican political committees all over the country.

    "€œWe are honored to be asked to be treasurer for the Super PAC that is now supporting Marco Rubio. We think he'€™s a great guy,"€ she said. "But we are staying independent of the presidential candidates."...

  6. Challenger wants Fla House member to return salary for quitting early


    Mike Reedy, the Democratic running to unseat Republican state Rep. Shawn Harrison in a north Tampa swing district, has seized on an interest message over the Florida House shutting down early this week: You owe taxpayers their money back.

     “Shawn Harrison and his gang in the Republican leadership have let us, the taxpayers, down once again. I, along with my fellow citizens of District 63 call for you, Representative Harrison, to return your paycheck. You work for us, not the Republican leadership," Reedy said in a statement. “When you ran, you committed to do a job for the people who elected you. When the going got tough, you quit. In the private sector, if you decide to stop doing your job, you get fired. We can’t fire you until November 2016, but we can demand you repay us for deciding to not do your job. You didn’t have time to finish the one thing you are obligated to accomplish—a budget. You neglected the pressing necessities of healthcare, water and land preservation, the environment, and education, but you somehow found time to advocate for discriminatory policies against your own constituents and to give tax cuts to the wealthy and large corporations.|”...

  7. Here's where conservatives can go after Jeb's fiscal record


    ...Jeb Bush left the governor's office more than eight years ago and lately has been consumed with raising millions of dollars for a presidential campaign. Yet he had a lousy legislative session.

    The overwhelmingly Republican Legislature eagerly moved to curb school testing, a clear repudiation of the best-known piece of Bush's legacy. His education advocacy group, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, supported the move, but unquestionably Bush's education agenda is on defense....

  8. What you don't know about Jeb Bush's economic record

    State Roundup

    By any reasonable analysis, Jeb Bush was a conservative governor.

    He cut taxes aggressively, he privatized state services, he shrank the state workforce and he presided over Florida's credit rating rising to AAA, in large part by building up reserves.

    In one memorable speech line, Bush dreamed of the day when Tallahassee's government buildings would be emptied, "silent monuments to the time when government played a larger role than it deserved or could adequately fill."...

    Jeb Bush participates Thursday in the National Review Institute 2015 Ideas Summit  in Washington, D.C.
  9. Former Attorney General Bill McCollum considers U.S. Senate run

    State Roundup

    Former Attorney General Bill McCollum confirms that he has been calling prominent Republicans about possibly running for U.S. Senate in 2016.

    "I certainly have an interest, but I'm just considering it," said McCollum, 70, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate against Bill Nelson in 2000 and lost the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary to a wealthy newcomer named Rick Scott....

  10. Bill McCollum says he's looking at running for U.S. Sen


    Republican former Attorney General Bill McCollum confirms that he's been calling prominent Republicans about possibly running for U.S. Senate.

    "I certainly have an interest, but I'm just considering it," said McCollum, 70, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate against Bill Nelson in 2000 and in 2010 lost the Republican gubernatorial primary to a wealthy newcomer named Rick Scott....

  11. Throwback Thursday; The day Fla's GOP revolution began


    Sixteen years ago today, Gov. Jeb Bush, Senate President Toni Jennings, and House Speaker John Thrasher closed the first legislative session after Republicans took control of both legislative chambers and the governor's office. The governor who is now running for president, showed no reluctance to spend his considerable political capital on an ambitious agenda that saw little resistence from a compliant legislature. They passed the nation's most sweeping school voucher program, a $1-billion tax cut package benefitting interests ranging from phosphate mines to vending machine companies, tort reform, expanding pension benefits for many local police and firefighter unions that backed Bush's election, and created a $300-million land conservation program....

    Gov. Jeb Bush at Sine Die in 1999.
  12. As high court ruling looms, new Fla ad promotes marriage equality


    With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to rule on same-sex marriage, Equality Florida today released a new TV ad highlighting the bi-partisan support for marriage equality in Florida. The ad will start airing in the Tampa and Orlando TV markets over the next six weeks as well as on social media.



  13. Super PAC emerges to help Patrick Murphy for US Sen.


    A new Super PAC has been formed to help elect U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, to the U.S. Senate seat now held by Marco Rubio. Floridians for a Strong Middle Class, which filed papers with the state earlier this week, is not bound by the $2,700 cap on individual contributions that Murphy's campaign is, and it cannot directly coordinate with the Murphy campaign.

    Leaders of the committee include Tampa Democratic operatives/activists Ana Cruz and Alan Clendenin, former Bill Nelson aide Brian May of Miami (better known to some folks as the fellow who tried to slip a message to Alex Sink during her debate with Rick Scott in 2010), and Jennifer May of Washington handling compliance. Murphy's father, construction company owner Thomas Murphy, could be a major donor to Floridians for a Strong Middle Class, but a Democrat involved with the effort said that Thomas Murphy would be among a broad array of Democrats if he contributes. Ashley Walker, who led Barack Obama's last Florida campaign, is a senior adviser....

  14. Alan Grayson takes on Obama's trade agenda


    Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando today released an unusually long, nine-minute video criticizing the trade policies of Bill Clinton -- NAFTA -- and Obama -- the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership. "This is not free trade. This is fake trade"

    As a side note, the fellow leading the campaign to pass TPP is veteran Florida Democratic consultant Omar Khan, who most recently ran Charlie Crist's gubernatoroail campaign....

  15. Ban on fundraising by judges upheld


    Associated Press:

    In a case that began in Hillsborough County, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that states may limit candidates for elected state and local judgeships from making a personal appeal for campaign contributions.

    The justices' 5-4 ruling means in 30 states that elect state and local judges, restrictions on judicial candidates and their campaign solicitations can remain in place. In all, 39 states hold elections for judges and some allow personal appeals....