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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 washingtonpost.com 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

Email: asmith@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @AdamSmithTimes

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  1. Winners and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Loser of the week

    Jeb Bush. Bloomberg Businessweek delved into Bush's sideline as a budding private equity mogul, depicting him as another budding Mitt Romney. The piece raised tough questions about Bush's vulnerabilities as a candidate as well as his readiness to run.

    Winners of the week

    Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney. Any hint that Jeb Bush may not pull the trigger on a presidential bid is good news for potential contenders Rubio and Romney....

  2. THE BUZZ: Big losses in North Florida in the governor's race catch the attention of Democrat strategists

    News

    As Florida Democrats continue their perennial soul searching over how they lost another critical election, most of the talk from the Charlie Crist camp has been about how Rick Scott and the Republicans outspent them by nearly two-to-one.

    "I worry the lesson some people have is that it all came down to money and almost nothing else," said former state Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith of Alachua, who is quick to say Crist ran a strong campaign and "might have been the strongest" candidate Democrats could have fielded....

    FILE - This Jan. 14, 2014 file photo shows former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush talking about education reform during a forum in Nashville, Tenn. More than five years after governors from both major parties began a mostly quiet effort to set new standards in American schools, the so-called Common Core initiative has morphed into a political tempest that fuels division among Republicans. Bush hails Common Core as a way to improve student performance and, over the long term, competitiveness of American workers. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File) WX204
  3. Imagine a no-drama presidential primary in Fla

    Blog

    When it comes to picking the Republican nominee for president of the United States, the Florida GOP carved a special role for itself in the last two presidential campaigns: Self-entitled scofflaw.

    Sunshine State Republican elected leaders, convinced that America's biggest and most diverse battleground state should have an outsized voice in selecting the nominee, unapologetically blew up their national party's carefully crafted primary schedules by setting Florida's primary earlier than allowed in 2008 and 2012....

    2008 button promoting an early Florida primary
  4. Florida GOP unlikely to flout RNC rules on 2016's presidential primary

    State Roundup

    When it comes to picking the Republican nominee for president of the United States, the Florida GOP carved a special role for itself in the past two presidential campaigns: self-entitled scofflaw.

    The Sunshine State's Republican elected leaders, convinced that America's biggest and most diverse battleground state should have an outsized voice in selecting the nominee, unapologetically blew up their national party's carefully crafted primary schedules by setting Florida's primary earlier than allowed in 2008 and 2012....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to decide early next year if he will run for president in 2016.
  5. Video: Why Eric Miller is best candidate to chair Fla GOP

    Blog

    We've shared clips of Kurt Kelly making his case to be elected chairman of the Republican Party of Florida next month, and clips of Blaise Ingoglia making his case. Today, it's Eric Miller of Martin County, who learned this year challenged the governor's hand-picked candidate, Leslie Dougher, and lost a surprisingly close contest - 69-106 - without even running a campaign....

  6. Meet the first donors to Rick Scott's inauguration

    Blog

    The Florida GOP says it will release the the names of donors to Gov. Rick Scott's inauguration activities weekly. Here's the first batch:
        .
    12/9/2014
        US Sugar Corporation: $25,000
        Allstate Insurance Company: $5,000

    12/11/2014
        FCCI Services, Inc of Sarasota: $25,000...

  7. Video: Political Connections Sun: Bob Buckhorn on how Democrats win back gov mansion

    Blog

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn faces no challenger for a second term, and he already sounds like a Democratic candidate for governor in 2016. He appears Sunday on Political Connections on Bay News 9 in Tampa, and along with the future of the Tampa Bay Rays stadium, mass transit, and other issues, Buckhorn spoke about keeping his distance from Charlie Crist this year and how Democrats can finally win the governor's mansion. Spoiler: By electing someone like him....

  8. Jeb Bush, 'the second coming of Mitt Romney,' and his offshore investments

    Blog

    Bloomberg has a tough story on Jeb Bush out today about the former governor's investments, which include business deals with Chinese investors, offshore tax havens, and, overall, Romneyesque problems for a potential presidential candidate:

    ... Documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 27 list Bush as chairman and manager of a new offshore private equity fund, BH Global Aviation, which raised $61 million in September, largely from foreign ­investors. In November the fund ­incorporated in the United Kingdom and Wales­—a ­structure, several independent finance lawyers say, that operates like a tax haven by allowing overseas investors to avoid U.S. taxes and regulations....

  9. Poll: Florida voters want Jeb to run for prez, not Rubio

    Blog

    Marc Caputo on the newly released ONLINE poll by St. Leo University:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would handily carry his homestate in a crowded GOP primary and is the only Republican to marginally lead Democrat Hillary Clinton in a theoretical 2016 presidential contest, according to a new Saint Leo University Polling Institute survey.

    Bush would pull 34 percent GOP support in a primary -- more than double former presidential candidate Mitt Romney's 15 percent and more than triple U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's 10 percent, the poll shows. The other 15 potential candidates (yes, it's that kind of potential Republican primary) all pull single-digit support in Florida....

  10. Video: Blaise Ingoglia on why he's best candidate for GOP chairman

    Blog

    Yesterday, we featured a quick video chat with Florida GOP chairman candidate Kurt Kelly. Today, it's state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, who currently also serves as vice chairman of the state party. The election is next month.

    ...

  11. Video: Meet Fla GOP Chair candidate Kurt Kelly

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott has endorsed the re-election of Leslie Dougher as Florida GOP chairwoman, but that has not stopped three challengers from stepping forward: Newly elected state Rep. Blaise Ingolia of Spring Hill, former state Rep. Kurt Kelly of Ocala and Martin County Republican State Committeeman Eric Miller. We caught up with Kelly, a social and fiscal conservative from Ocala who served in the Florida House from 2007 to 2010, when he ran unsuccessfully against Dan Webster for the right to challenge U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson....

  12. Mike Hightower moves from Florida Blue to Holland & Knight

    Blog

    Mike Hightower, the Tallahassee lobbyist least likely to sport an askew tie and a powerhouse Republican fundraiser (especially for Bushes), is joining Holland & Knight's lobbying team after more than three decades at Florida Blue. From a release:

    Holland & Knight has expanded its Florida Government Advocacy Team with the addition of veteran healthcare lobbyist Mike Hightower as a senior policy advisor in its Jacksonville office....

  13. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Satan. The Florida Department of Management Services last week approved a holiday display from the Satanic Temple of Tallahassee in the rotunda of the Florida Capitol, after the temple threatened to sue if its request was ejected again.

    Loser of the week

    Major Harding. The retired Florida Supreme Court justice has been picked for a no-win job guaranteed to infuriate a lot of people: Issue a student conduct hearing ruling on the sexual assault allegations against Florida State's Jameis Winston....

  14. Florida GOP chairwoman has competition in upcoming election

    State Roundup

    Florida Republican party leaders gathered in Tampa on Saturday for their quarterly board meeting, and we heard a fair amount of chatter about a potential upset in the upcoming election of a new chairman of the state GOP.

    Gov. Rick Scott picked the current chairwoman, Leslie Dougher of Clay County, six months ago to fill the remainder of the term of Lenny Curry after Curry stepped down to run for mayor of Jacksonville. Scott endorsed her for re-election last month, and you might think that would decide the matter. It didn't. Three other Republicans — newly elected state Rep. Blaise Ingolia of Spring Hill, former state Rep. Kurt Kelly of Ocala and Martin County Republican State Committeeman Eric Miller — stepped up to challenge Dougher. The election is next month....

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding, testifies before the House Criminal Justice committee against a joint resolution regarding rules of court practice and procedure, Wednesday, March 16, 2005, in Tallahassee, Fla.  The resolution passed favorably out of the committee. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)
  15. Republicans challenging Gov Scott on Fla GOP Chairman

    Blog

    Florida Republican party leaders gathered in Tampa Saturday for their quarterly board meeting, and we heard a fair amount of chatter about an potential upset in the upcoming election of a new chairman of the state GOP.

    Gov. Rick Scott picked the current chairwoman, Leslie Dougher of Clay County, six months ago to fill the remainder of the term of of Lenny Curry after Curry stepped down to run for mayor of Jacksonville. Scott endorsed her for reelection last month, which you might think would decide the matter. It didn't. Three other Republicans - newly elected state Rep. Blaise Ingolia, R-Spring Hill, former state Rep. Kurt Kelly of Ocala, and Martin County Republican State Committeeman Eric Miller - stepped up to challenge Dougher. The election is next month....