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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. New political group hits Florida House Republicans on budget


    A new issue advocacy group called Florida Strong is taking aim at Florida House members in swing districts for opposing the Florida Senate approach to expanding health coverage and balancing the budget. Here's the flier against Tampa Republican Shawn Harrison, but Florida Strong is also targeting Republican state Reps. Bob Cortes, Mike Miller, Rene Plasencia, Kathleen Peters, Jose Oliva, and Michael Bileca....

    Flier against Shawn Harrison
  2. Imagine the drama of a Rubio v Bush Fla primary


    Leave it to Florida to host the best political soap opera of the presidential campaign.

    The mega-state that all but delivered the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008, likely won't reprise that role again because as many as two dozen states will weigh in before Florida. But the March 15 Sunshine State primary is shaping up as potentially spectacular theater nonetheless....

    Sen. Marco Rubio prepares to speak to the media on Thursday in Las Vegas.
  3. In a Rubio vs. Bush fight, will other GOP candidates compete in Florida's March 15 primary?


    Leave it to Florida to host the best political soap opera of the presidential campaign.

    The mega-state that all but delivered the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008, likely won't reprise that role again because as many as two dozen states will weigh in before Florida. But the March 15 Sunshine State primary is shaping up as potentially spectacular theater nonetheless....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner May 16 in Des Moines, Iowa. [Associated Press]
  4. Fla GOP announces finance team


    The Republican Party of Florida is in a potentially dicey financial state these days, with neither the Republican governor nor the the Republican state Senate caucus raising money for the party and/or renting space in the state party headquarters. Scott in some respects is actually competing with the party by actively raising money for his political committee, Let's Get to Work, even though he is not up for re-election and is apparently not running for anything in 2016....

  5. Poll: Fla Insiders see Carlos Lopez-Cantera as strongest GOP Sen nominee


    In a field of prospective Republican U.S. Senate candidates without a clear frontrunner, the strongest Republican nominee would be Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, say more more than 100 of Florida's savviest political players.
    The latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll found 38 percent calling Lopez-Cantera the strongest candidate, 24 percent saying U.S. Rep. David Jolly, 18 percent saying former Attorney General Bill McCollum, 13 percent for U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, and 10 percent for U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller....

  6. How did Jeb juggle all those corporate boards?


    The AP's Ronnie Greene takes deep dive into the Jeb Bush's "dizzying array of corporate connections that earned him millions of dollars and occasional headaches."

    ...Bush's experience on corporate boardrooms could evolve into a theme during the 2016 race for the presidency. Among the issues the Florida Republican could be asked to explain:

    —One company that paid Bush $15,000 a month as a board member and consultant, InnoVida Holdings, collapsed in fraud and bankruptcy, with the company's CEO, Claudio Osorio, now serving 12½ years in prison. Bush joined InnoVida despite warning signs that Osorio's prior company dissolved amid bankruptcy and allegations of fraud....

  7. Poll: Fla Insiders grow more bullish on Marco Rubio, less so on Jeb Bush


    Florida's political elites are fast revising their views about the strength of presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, with perceptions of Rubio dramatically improving and Bush's slipping, according to our latest exclusive Florida Insider Poll.

    Five months ago, nine out of 10 of the veteran Florida politicos surveyed in the Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll said Bush would be a stronger general election candidate than Rubio, and one month ago nearly eight in 10 said the same thing. This week? Just 52 percent of the more than 120 our Political Insiders said Bush would be the stronger nominee against Hillary Clinton, while 48 percent named Rubio....

  8. A-list Fla fundraisers step up for Ron DeSantis Senate campaign


    The common short-hand description for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron DeSantis, the congressman from northeast Florida, is that he's a Tea Party favorite. That's true, but today DeSantis is rolling out some top tier Florida fundraisers that show he also has considerable support in the GOP establishment as well:

    John W. Childs, Vero Beach
    Jay Demetree, Jacksonville
    Gay & Stanley Gaines, Palm Beach
    Robert Grammig, Tampa
    Joseph G. Fogg, III, Naples
    Jim France, Daytona Beach
    Lee Hanley, Palm Beach
    Mori Hosseini, Daytona Beach
    Elizabeth & John Kagan, Ft. Myers
    Tom Kukk, Naples
    Gov. Bob Martinez, Tampa
    Carlyn & Lothar Mayer, Boca Raton
    Mac McGehee, Jacksonville
    Ambassador John Rood, St. Johns
    Ambassador Francis Rooney, Naples
    Russ Thomas, Ponte Vedra Beach...

  9. Pot, meet kettle: DCCC attacks Jolly over measure supported by 88% of Dems


    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is eager to soften up Pinellas County's U.S. Rep. David Jolly before his re-election campaign heats up against Democrat Eric Lynn.

    But they might want to try attacking the Congressman on legislation that wasn't widely supported by Congressional democrats.

    The DCCC has a new radio ad linking Jolly to the U.S. House's failure to come up with a long-term solution for the country's Highway Trust Fund that has been losing money for years....

  10. Prominent GOP kingmaker loses post after calling judges 'dumbasses'


    Be careful with those Facebook posts, politicos.

    Sam Rashid, a prominent Hillsborough County Republican activist and political kingmaker, wasn't careful and it cost him his spot on the coveted  Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission to which he had been appointed by Sen. Marco Rubio. It seems Rashid on Facebook had referred to three Hillsborough County Circuit Judges as “dumbasses,” which does not exactly signal neutral and unbiased views....

  11. How Rick Scott snubbed the Fla GOP on presidential cattle call


    Gov. Rick Scott will be front and center before the national media Tuesday as he hosts his Economic Growth Summit at Disney World, where most of the top tier presidential candidates will be talking about the vision for growing the economy.

    Overlooked on this high profile cattle call is how the entire thing was put together through Scott's political committee, Let's Get to Work, rather than the state GOP. This is unprecedented and a reminder that the leading elected Republican in Florida still has a rocky - at best - relationship with the Republican Party of Florida. It's been that way since party officials snubbed him early this year by electing state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia the party chairman, rather than Scott's preferred candidate....

  12. Jeb wants more funding for Alzheimers, but he vetoed spending on it as gov


    Jeb Bush's comments that he thinks the government should increase funding for Alzheimer's research are likely to resonate without countless American families who, like Bush's, are struggling with the disease.

    But they also may stick in the craw of former Florida legislators, Democrat and Republican alike, who recall Bush vetoeing their budget items targetting Alzheimer's research and care while at the same time approving tax cuts often mainly for the benefit of specific businesses or wealthier Floridians...

  13. How Bernie Sanders qualifies for the Fla prez ballot


    With Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders scheduled to announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination this afternoon, we received an excellent question from a reader: Given Florida's 2011 "Charlie Crist Law" --- mandating that candidates seeking their party's nomination for office must have been registered members of that party at least 365 days before the start of the qualifying period - will Sanders have a problem getting on the Florida ballot? Sanders only recently declared himself a Democrat....

    Bernie Sanders
  14. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics


    Winner of the week: Lenny Curry. It's not easy to unseat an incumbent mayor, especially when few locals know much about you. But the former state GOP Chairman and a strong campaign team led by Tim Baker, Brian Hughes and Brian Swensen pulled off a huge win in unseating Alvin Brown, who had been hailed as a Democratic rock star four years ago.

    Runner up: Jeb Bush, his TV ad Curry was decisive to moving votes to the Republican. You'd be hard-pressed to name many prominent Republican elected officials in Jacksonville who don't owe a big debt to Bush for his support. Just ask John Thrasher, Aaron Bean, and assorted mayors.

    Loser of the week: Marco Rubio. He cashed in a $70,000 retirement fund so he can afford a new fridge and air conditigruioner? Nobody begrudges him for not having millions in the bank but let's hope the presidential contender has better ideas for managing America's finances than he's using for his own household....

  15. History shows Democrats unlikely to make hay from state GOP budget troubles

    State Roundup

    News that the feds may send up to $1 billion to fund a hospital payment program means it should be easier for Republican legislative leaders to plug their budget holes without another meltdown. But even if June's special session goes smoothly, big intra-party differences over funding heath care stand to loom again over the 2016 session, and Democrats will do their part to remind voters how Republican lawmakers failed to enact a budget on time....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday  in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)