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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. Rubio leads in polls, but odds favor Bush

    State Roundup

    Based on the latest polls, Marco Rubio may be the new front-runner for the Republican nomination, narrowly edging out the rest of the field of prospects with support from an underwhelming 13 percentage points in a Fox News poll and 15 percentage points in a Quinnipiac University poll.

    But Jeb Bush is still the safer bet to win the White House — literally.

    The folks at have looked at the odds assorted online gambling sites have set on assorted presidential candidates. Editor in chief Zack Jones says the sports books look at everything from polling to historical trends to economic data, to come up with the odds. ...

    U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., center speaks with Republican activists at the Rockingham County Republican Committee's Freedom Founders Dinner, Friday, May 9, 2014 in New Castle, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) NHJC108
  2. A veteran Tallahassee reporter says Jeb had contempt for press


    Forner Palm Beach Post reporter S.V. Date, now with National Journal, has a provocative piece for Politico about Jeb Bush's relationship with the media over eight years as governor. An excerpt:

    "...Bush believed he had worked out a plan to solve a given problem and that the best thing for others to do was stop carping and obstructing and to get in line. Viewed through this lens, dealing with press queries was, on one level, a chore of being a public figure—one of those things you just had to deal with if you wanted to be governor. At the same time, dealing with press queries did not mean they had to be dealt with fully and openly..."...

  3. Sarasota GOP fined $20k for campaign finance errors


    The Herald-Tribune reports that the Sarasota GOP paid earlier this month reported that it paid a $20,0000 fine to the Florida Election Commission over improper reporting of contributions to the local party.

    The fines stemmed from complaints from local party activists who accused County Chairman Joe Gruters, a likely candidate for the state House and onetime candidate for state GOP Chairman, of shoddy fiscal management and bookkeeping. The Election Commission dismissed the complaint against Gruters - a CPA who faced similar with campaign finance reporting violations working for U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan -  and blamed the party's then-treasurer for the problems....

  4. Jeb Bush outsourcing key campaign jobs to Super PAC


    The Associated Press broke new details on how Jeb Bush will rely on his Right to Rise Super PAC to handle his campaign's TV ads and a host of other duties traditionally handled by the campaign itself.

    Right to Rise could also break into new areas for a candidate-specific super PAC, such as data gathering, highly individualized online advertising and running phone banks. Also on the table is tasking the super PAC with crucial campaign endgame strategies: the operation to get out the vote and efforts to maximize absentee and early voting on Bush's behalf....

  5. Former Miami Mayor (and Clinton backer) Manny Diaz touting Martin O'Malley


    In 2008, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz enthuasiatically backed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. So it's likely to raise some eyebrows in Brooklyn that former Mayor Diaz is hosting a meet-and-greet in Miami with potential Clinton Democratic challenger Martin O'Malley on May 8.

    We're awaiting word back from Diaz about what says about his support for Clinton in 2016, but in a note to invitees Diaz noted how and the former Maryland governor are friends:...

    The invite to meet Martin O'Malley
  6. Obama's big carbon footprint celebrating Earth Day in Fla


    President Obama will visit the Everglades Wednesday, Earth Day, to call attention to global warming and the administration's efforts to cut carbon pollution across the globe. CBS News reporter Mark Knoller raised an intervesting question with honorary Floridian and former Jim Davis adviser Josh Earnest at the press secretary's daily briefing today. Here's a transcript of the exchange:

         Q    Thanks.  On the Everglades trip, does the President risk undermining his message when he flies to the Everglades on a 747 hundreds of miles to make a statement about climate change?  (Laughter.)
         Q    He could drive.  (Laughter.)
         MR. EARNEST:  It’s a provocative question.
         Q    Take a van.
         MR. EARNEST:  But, no, he doesn't.  The President believes that there are important changes that we can make to reduce carbon pollution in this country, and we can do it in a way that will be good for our economy.  That is precisely the case that the President will be making at the Everglades.  And he’s looking forward to the trip.
         Q    Does he try to minimize the carbon footprint that he leaves whenever he goes anywhere?
         MR. EARNEST:  Well, obviously, the Department of Defense and the Presidential Airlift Group at the United States Air Force is responsible for the President’s transportation.  So you can talk to them about any steps that they may have taken.
         I can say as a general matter that the Department of Defense has acknowledged that climate change does pose a national security threat to the United States.  And there are a lot of practices that the Department of Defense has taken to try to reduce their carbon footprint.  I don't know how that intersects with the use of Air Force One, but you could check with the Air Force on that.
    All right?  Thanks, everybody.  Have a good Monday....

  7. Move over S.C., Fla. picks the GOP nominee


    South Carolina Republicans used to love boasting about their track record for picking Republican presidential nominees in modern modern, but that went out the window 2012 when Newt Gingrich won the Palmetto state only to quickly crash to the ground in Florida.

    The good folks at Smart Politics, the politics site from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, has a new report examining how each state has fared over the last 40 years in voting for the eventual Republican presidential nominee. Just nine --  Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsijust nine have backed the eventual Republican nominee in primaries or caucuses each time -- and, Florida is the biggest standout....

  8. Tom Rooney rules out U.S. Senate run


    Scratch another Republican off the list of potential Republican candidates for Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat: U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney of Palm Beach County ruled it out today, the Herald-Tribune reports:“While I feel like I could mount a successful statewide campaign, the toll I believe the process would take on my family is something I cannot put them through,” Rooney said. “There is no greater responsibility I have than the upbringing of my three young sons. Therefore, I will not seek the Republican nomination for Senate in 2016.”

  9. Fla Poll: Rubio, Bush both lead Clinton


    An April 14-16 Mason-Dixon poll of Florida voters (MoE +/- 4 percent) finds both Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush leading Hillary Clinton with registered voters. Rubio had trailed Clinton in Florida in Mason-Dixon's January survey but now leads her 49to 43 percent, while Bush leads 47 to 43 percent. Both Republicans lead comfortably among independent voters.

    "Clinton’s early campaign struggles have made some Democratic leaders nervous and there is evidence to support that it has trickled down to rank and file party voters," pollster Brad Coker noted. "Among registered Democrats, only 39% said they will definitely vote for her in the primary election, while 40% would give strong consideration to another Democratic candidate and 12% would definitely vote against Clinton in the primary."...

  10. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


    Winner of the week - Rick Kriseman.

    St. Petersburg's mayor can't get City Council members behind his plan for the Rays to explore stadium options and the pier's future looks as uncertain as ever. But his city is still so appealing that even Mr. Tampa — former Mayor Dick Greco — is moving to the Burg.

    Loser of the week - Florida GOP.

    So much for that great bench of strong statewide candidates Republicans supposedly had in Florida. After CFO Jeff Atwater and former House Speaker Will Weatherford passed on running for Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat, party leaders are struggling to find a strong candidate and worrying about losing....

  11. Bush calls for compromise on Medicaid

    State Roundup

    Jeb Bush was known more as a my-way-or-the-highway governor than a compromiser, but campaigning in New Hampshire last week he called on Florida and federal leaders to hammer out a deal to overcome a stalemate over funding hospital care and expanding Medicaid.

    "The feds and the executive branch and representatives from the (Florida) House and Senate ought to get together and try to forge a compromise," he said, while campaigning in Concord on Thursday....

  12. Hillary Clinton staying away from Fla, but her supporters get rolling


    From Alex Leary and me:

    Florida Democrats are ready for Hillary, even if Hillary Clinton is not yet ready for them....The Clinton team is in no rush to start organizing and campaigning in America's biggest swing state, even though Barack Obama's re-election campaign started at this point four years ago. But Clinton supporters are aggressively raising money and nearly unanimous that she can win the state even if Republicans nominate Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio....

  13. Hillary Clinton staying away from Florida for now, but supporters get rolling

    State Roundup

    Florida Democrats are ready for Hillary, even if Hillary Clinton is not yet ready for them.

    "In my 35 years in politics, I've never seen anything like it. Every day my email box is filled, people asking, 'How do I get involved, how do I help?' " said Alan Clendenin of Tampa, vice chairman of the Florida Democratic Party and leader of Florida's "Ready for Hillary" committee, which has spent more than a year raising money and signing up volunteers....

    Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a roundtable discussion with members of the small business community at Capital City Fruit on April 15 in Norwalk, Iowa. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
  14. Fla poll: Marco Rubio catches Jeb Bush in Fla


    A newly released Mason-Dixon Florida poll shows Marco Rubio no lags Jeb Bush among Republican voters in Florida and that his approval ratings are stronger than the former governor's. Here's the full analysis by pollster Brad Coker:

    In the wake of his formal announcement as a candidate for president, Senator Marco Rubio has leveled the playing field in Florida with former governor Jeb Bush. Statewide, 31% of registered Republican voters now say they would vote for Rubio and 30% would back Bush....

  15. Adam C. Smith: Come on Jeb, end the farce and declare your campaign for president

    State Roundup

    Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton have done it. Now it's time — past time, really — for Jeb Bush to come clean on what everybody already knows.

    Admit it, Gov. Bush, you are running for president. To do otherwise is dishonest.

    Bush made the decision four months ago to announce he would "actively explore the possibility of running for president," thereby kicking the 2016 presidential contest into gear far earlier than anyone expected. ...

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, speaking Tuesday in Ohio, has been careful to avoid saying he is running for president. For a video report, go to