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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. Gunster lobbyists step up to help Joe Negron win Senate presidency


    Not sure whether a law/lobbying shop can quantify a monetary value for having one of their own sitting in the Florida Senate's office, but it has to be worth some gravy. So no one should be surprised that lobbyists and lawyers with  "Florida's Law Firm for Business," aka Gunster, are stepping up to raise money for Gunster lawyer and Senate president candidate Joe Negron's political committee, the Treasure Coast Alliance...

  2. Among Fla Senate candidates no consensus on prez preferences


    The vast majority of Florida's GOP establishment may be backing Jeb Bush for the Republican presidential nomination, but there's no consensus among the Republican running for U.S. Senate. Here's where things stand on the presidential endorsement/preference front:

    U.S. Rep. David Jolly of Indian Shores is backing Jeb Bush.

    Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami is backing longtime friend Marco Rubio....

  3. Jeb Bush needs to find his inner Lawton Chiles


    How much longer can Jeb Bush maintain that strained smile?

    He promised to wage a “joyful” campaign for president, but anybody can see these are not joyous days on the campaign trail for Florida’s former governor. Bush’s taut smile-smirk looked positively painful Thursday on Good Morning America.

    “He’s also called you 'low energy.’ A 'stiff.’ Says you’re 'a joke on immigration.’ 'The last thing we need is another Bush.’ Why do you think he’s out to get you?,” George Stephanopoulos asked the no-longer presumed Republican frontrunner about Donald Trump....

    Republican rivals Donald Trump and Jeb Bush have been going at each other this week.
  4. Smith: Jeb Bush needs to turn the tables on bully Donald Trump

    State Roundup

    How much longer can Jeb Bush maintain that strained smile?

    He promised to wage a "joyful" campaign for president, but anybody can see these are not joyous days on the campaign trail for Florida's former governor. Bush's taut smile-smirk looked positively painful Thursday on Good Morning America.

    "He's also called you 'low energy.' A 'stiff.' Says you're 'a joke on immigration.' 'The last thing we need is another Bush.' Why do you think he's out to get you?" George Stephanopoulos asked the no-longer presumed Republican frontrunner about Donald Trump....

    Pat Neal said Bush should force Trump to talk about the issues.
  5. Riding a big fundraiser, Clearwater's Jack Latvala keeps bid for Senate presidency alive

    State Roundup

    In the high-stakes gamble for control of the Florida Senate, Sen. Joe Negron has the better hand, but plenty of people in Pinellas County are still betting on Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater.

    Latvala said he raised $250,000 at a luncheon Tuesday for the Florida Leadership Committee, his fundraising machine to elect fellow Republicans to the Senate. Donations ranged from $200 to $10,000, and 400 people showed up, including much of the Pinellas power structure that supports Latvala's bid to become Senate president in 2016....

    Republican State Sens. Jack Latvala of Clearwater, right, and Joe Negron of Stuart are locked in a battle to become Senate president next year. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  6. Meet the Florida pol who went to school with 'loud and showy' Donald Trump


    A lot of Florida politicos have crossed paths with Donald Trump over the years, but one prominent Republican who knew him long before he was The Donald, was Sarasota Republican Pat Neal. The former state legislator, Florida Christian Coalition chairman and top Republican fundraiser widely seen a leading candidate for Chief Financial Officer in 2018, was two years behind Trump at business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania....

    Charlene and Pat Neal
  7. Biden has strong Florida ties, but few see plausible path to presidency


    ....But for all of the vice president's Florida ties and contacts — including top money-raisers and political strategists in his corner — it's far easier to find Democrats who love the idea of the feisty, shoot-from-the-hip Biden running for president than Democrats who see a plausible path for him outside of the Clinton campaign falling off the tracks.

    "I don't hear anybody jumping off the Hillary Clinton ship. She has virtually every name in Florida," said Chris Korge, a top Democratic fundraiser and longtime Clinton supporter in Miami. "Hillary's got a hard-core group of supporters, a majority of which are women that are not shaking loose."...

  8. Biden has strong Florida ties, but few see plausible path to presidency

    State Roundup

    Few national Democratic figures have more longtime friends in Florida than Joe Biden, who returns to the Sunshine State today amid growing chatter that he could enter and upend the presidential race.

    The vice president's visit to South Florida — to discuss the Iran deal with Jewish residents, speak at Miami Dade College, and raise money for Democratic U.S. Senate campaigns — is his first high-profile trip since the prospect of him challenging Hillary Rodham Clinton for the nomination ceased to seem far-fetched. Reporters and Biden friends alike will be watching for signals about his level of interest....

    Vice President Joe Biden arrives for a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 15 with the House Democratic Caucus at the request of House Minority Leader Pelosi to talk about the Iran Nuclear deal. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
  9. Jeb opening Fla HQ in Tampa next week


    William March reports:

    Jeb Bush will open his Florida headquarters for his presidential campaign in Tampa next week, according to an invitation circulating among Republicans for a grand opening Sept. 10, featuring an appearance by Jeb Bush Jr.

    The event will be a 4:30 p.m., with doors opening at 4 p.m., at the headquarters at 5460 Beaumont Center Blvd., an office park at the intersection of Hillsborough Avenue and Eisenhower Boulevard....

  10. Jack Latvala: How dare anyone question my GOP loyalty


    State Sen. Joe Negron may have declared victory in his campaign for Florida Senate president, but that message failed to reach more than 400 people turned out to a luncheon fundraiser in St. Petersburg for state Sen. Jack Latvala, who is still campaigning for the job. And with Negron supporters spreading the word that Latvala could even strike a deal with Democrats to win the post, the Pinellas Republican noted that he has been working to elect Republicans for 46 years....

  11. Meet the Dems eyeing Fla Attorney General office


    You've no doubt heard some of the prospective Democatic candidates for governor in 2018 - Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine - are all in the mix to take on Republican prospects that include Adam Putnam, Jeff Atwater, Will Weatherford, Marco Rubio.

    But there also are several significant Democratic names bubbling up for the attorney general's race in 2018: Former prosecutor and state Sen. Rod Smith, who ran unsuccessfully for governor, in 2006, is seriously looking at it. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, an attorney and another of Democratic former stand out in the Florida House, also is interested in the job as he faces term limits in Fort Lauderdale....

  12. Joan Jett and the Wall Streeters pony up for Wall Street-bashing Alan Grayson


    We can't decide which is more interesting: That the great Joan Jett co-hosted a fundraiser for Alan "Don't Give a Damn 'Bout my Bad Reputation' Grayson in New York last week, or that the Aug. 27 reception was also co-hosted by three Wall Streeters on the same day Grayson sent a fundraising email boasting that "Wall Street bankers hate me."

    At least three of the listed co-hosts - Avery Byrd, Lawrence Hui, and Mary Namorato - are in the investment business. Grayson, himself a hedge fund operator, has been hammering Democratic U.S. Senate rival patrick Murphy for receiving money from Wall Street, especially Goldman Sachs....

    Alan Grayson NYC invite
  13. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics


    Winner of the week

    Rick Scott. A new Quinnipiac poll found 45 percent of Florida voters approve of his performance and 44 percent disapprove. Those are his best numbers since taking office. In today's polarized political environment 45 is the new 55.

    Loser of the week

    Jeb Bush. With the Bush campaign pressing reset yet again (here and here), his poll numbers falling and not rising, and the candidate exciting almost nobody outside of the GOP establishment,  a worrisome perception of the former governor is setting in: He calls himself the race's "joyful tortoise" but he's starting to look like a weaker version of Mitt Romney....

  14. Florida's Republicans get to know candidates running for Sen. Marco Rubio's seat

    State Roundup

    A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found that about 9 in 10 Florida voters do not know enough about the four Republicans running to succeed Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate to have an opinion of them. And probably more than a few people in that poll exaggerated their awareness of Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, defense contractor Todd Wilcox, and U.S. Reps. David Jolly and Ron DeSantis....

    Todd Wilcox, a combat veteran, is the wildcard in the race.
  15. The late Tom Slade's unvarnished view of Jeb Bush


    From our story about Jeb Bush's style of governing:

    ,,,Darryl Paulson, professor emeritus of government at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, called Bush a "highly successful" governor who was more likely to get his way through strong-arming than persuading Republicans and Democrats to find common ground....