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. Florida GOP pioneer Tom Slade dies at 78

    State Roundup

    Tom Slade, one of the smartest, funniest and most consequential political operators in modern Florida history, died Monday afternoon at age 78.

    "I can't think of anyone as instrumental in the development of the modern Republican Party as Tom Slade," said retired University of South Florida St. Petersburg political scientist Darryl Paulson, who has studied the state party extensively. "Jeb Bush, in many respects, could not be possible without Tom Slade."...

    Republican state Sen. Tom Slade, center, is applauded by outgoing party chief Van Poole, left, and opponent Sherry Plymale after Slade was elected chairman in the early 1990s.
  2. GOP Pioneer Tom Slade dies at 78

    Blog

    Tom Slade, one of the smartest, funniest, and most consequential political operators in modern Florida history, died this afternoon at age 78, his sister confirms.

    "I can't think of anyone as instrumental  in the development of the modern Republican Party as Tom Slade," said retired USF St. Petersburg political scientist Darryl Paulson, who has studied the state party exensively. "Jeb Bush many respects could not be possible without Tom Slade."...

  3. Tom Slade in critical condition

    Blog

    From a release:

    Tom Slade, former Florida State Senator and State Representative and perhaps best known for his leadership as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida from 1993-1999, today is in critical condition after suffering heart failure last week.  He was unable to be revived for a period of time and is now receiving care at Orange Park Medical Center.

    The Slade family is asking for your thoughts and prayers at this time. An update will be provided as more information is available. ...

  4. Charlie Crist fans the early voting flames

    Blog

    Charlie and Cafrole Crist hopped out of a staffer's car in front of the downtown St. Petersburg elections office and a crowd of nearly 50 started singing happy birthday. Today is the former and maybe future first lady's 45th birthday, and they celebrated it by taking advantage of the first day of early voting.

    Someone presented Crist with a hand-held, battery-operated fan, an homage of sorts to his debate performance last week....

    Charlie Crist and his wife, Carole Crist, exit the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office in St. Petersburg on Monday.
  5. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    The Fan. Was there any doubt this week? We don't know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of helpful publicity Fangate generated for Charlie Crist. All we know is Crist showed up for the start of a televised debate and Gov. Rick Scott did not.

    Loser of the week

    Rick Scott. With a giant assist from campaign manager Melissa Sellers and debate coach Brett O'Donnell, Scott — and Florida yet again — became a laughingstock after trying to stick it to Crist with a petty debate demand. Scott's explanation — that he was waiting for Crist to show up when the world saw Crist was the only one who did — was as strange as Scott's debate performance....

    Fear the Fan
  6. Buzz: Jeb Bush genuinely undecided and genuinely considering 2016 presidential run

    State Roundup

    Political junkies in Florida don't have to worry about the drama ending Nov. 4, because once the governor's race wraps up, another huge political question emerges: Will Jeb run in 2016?

    Former Gov. Jeb Bush has said he will make up his mind by year's end and most signs suggest he is both genuinely undecided and genuinely considering it. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio appears more likely to run, though Bush's candidacy would seriously crimp his fundraising and political network....

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott, smiles while talking to a panel of students and their parents during a round table discussion of skyrocketing college costs Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at Jefferson High School in Tampa.
  7. Michelle Obama rallies for Charlie Crist in Orlando, but no sign of president

    State Roundup

    ORLANDO — President Barack Obama is increasingly unpopular among Floridians, but that did not stop Charlie Crist from happily campaigning alongside first lady Michelle Obama on Friday to boost his bid to unseat Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

    "There's a reason why Charlie is known as the people's governor here in Florida," Mrs. Obama told the predominantly black and Hispanic crowd of about 700 people inside a park gymnasium. "It's because Charlie gets it."...

    First Lady Michelle Obama shook hands with audience members after giving a supporting speech for gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist during his rally of over over 700 People inside of Barnett Park Gymnasium in Orlando Friday afternoon October 17, 2014. Charlie Crist's running mate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein gave a speech followed by Charlie Crist. [DEMETRIUS FREEMAN   |   Times]
  8. Michelle Obama rallies voters for Charlie Crist in Orlando

    Blog

    ORLANDO -- Charlie Crist got a boost from the White House's more popular resident Friday, with first lady Michelle Obama swinging through Orlando to rally voters and help the one-time governor in his bid to unseat Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

    "There's a reason why Charlie is known as the people's governor here in Florida," Obama told the predominantly black and Hispanic crowd assembled inside a city park gymnasium. "It's because Charlie gets it."...

    Charlie Crist greets first lady Michelle Obama at a rally in the Barnett Park gymnasium in Orlando.
  9. Steve Schale: Team Charlie Crist turning out unlikely voters

    Blog

    To: Crist Supporters, Journalists, Assorted Pundits, the Spambots that hit my blog, the Bipartisan members of Kevin is Evil Fantasy Nascar League, and the people in Rick Scottworld who will be asked to respond to this memo, namely Tim and Ryan.

    From: Steve Schale

    Date: October 17, 2014

    Yesterday, my memo writing counterpart at the Scott campaign, Tim Saler, issued a new piece in the wake of #FangateGoneGlobal regarding the state of the 2014 election from his perspective. While it would be easier for Tim and I to hammer this out over beers at Tucker Dukes in Tallahassee, I do admire both the certainty from which he writes his memos about the outcome of the election, as well as the volume....

  10. GOP has 13 point lead in mail-in votes so far

    Blog

    Marc Caputo crunches the numbers:

    Absentee ballots are still pouring in, with 778,876 cast of this morning. As yesterday, Republicans still hold the lead in returns over Democrats, 48-35 percent.

    Here's a look at the top counties where ballots have been counted by party:
     Ballots cast      Party     County     % of total
          37,601     REP     PIN     43%
          32,407     REP     LEE     55%
          31,867     DEM     PIN     37%
          28,281     REP     DAD     47%
          22,126     DEM     DAD     36%
          18,812     REP     HIL     42%
          17,315     DEM     HIL     39%
          16,353     DEM     ORA     42%
          15,792     REP     ORA     41%
          14,332     REP     BRE     54%
          14,146     DEM     LEE     24%
          14,119     REP     DUV     55%
          14,087     REP     VOL     48%
          14,058     NPA     PIN     16%
          13,971     REP     CLL     63%...

  11. Rick Scott campaign: Charlie Crist should be sweating bullets over early vote

    Blog

    The Rick Scott campaign apparently wants to talk about something besides portable fans:

    FROM:             Tim Saler, Deputy Campaign Manager
    TO:                 Campaign Supporters
    DATE:             October 16, 2014
    SUBJECT:       152,387 People...

  12. Nate Silver's 538 weighs in on Crist v Scott

    Blog

    FiveThirtyEight, looks at the Fla governor's race polls, and sees two very unpopular candidates and Charlie Crist with the slight edge:

    #... It’s arguably the same reason he fell behind in the first place: money. ... In other words, the state tilted slightly more towards Crist when the two candidates were on relatively equal financial footing...."...

  13. FanGate! Rick Scott nearly refuses to debate because of Charlie Crist's fan

    Blog

    DAVIE – In what had to be the strangest start of a gubernatorial debate, Gov. Rick Scott nearly  refused to participate because Democrat Charlie Crist insisted on a fan to keep him cool.

    The Republican governor finally emerged six minutes late as flummoxed moderators struggled to figure out what to do with only a bemused Crist standing on stage at Broward College.

    “Are we really going debate about a fan or are we going to talk about education, the environment and the future of our state?” asked Crist....

  14. Fangate overshadows sharp debate between Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist

    State Roundup

    DAVIE

    In the weirdest start of a gubernatorial debate, Florida Gov. Rick Scott initially refused to take the stage Wednesday night because Democrat Charlie Crist insisted on using a fan to keep him cool.

    The Republican governor finally emerged at least six minutes late as flummoxed moderators struggled on live TV to figure out what to do with a bemused Crist standing solo on stage at Broward College....

    Democratic candidate Charlie Crist waits for Gov. Rick Scott to start their second debate Wednesday in Davie. Scott's campaign said Crist's use of an electric fan violated debate rules that there could be no electronic equipment on stage. [Associated Press]
  15. Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Graham Center Poll: Crist 40%, Scott 40%, Wyllie 6%

    Blog

    Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist are locked in a dead heat race for governor in the final weeks of the campaign, and a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/UF Bob Graham Center poll shows Florida voters think very little of either candidate.

    The exclusive poll finds 40 percent of likely voters supporting Crist, 40 percent backing Scott, and 6 percent for Libertarian nominee Adrian Wyllie....