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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. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Kathy Castor. No elected leader in Florida has pushed harder for normalizing relations with Cuba than Tampa's Democratic congresswoman. Others may see that position as too risky for a politician in Florida, but Castor saw a no-brainer potential economic boon for Tampa Bay and Florida, and she was persuasive at the White House.

    Loser of the week...

  2. The Buzz: Political insiders think Marco Rubio might run for governor

    State Roundup

    It's not an ideal pitch for someone running for the Republican nomination to succeed Barack Obama in the White House: "Elect me, a charismatic, young first-term U.S. senator with no executive experience, but a great speaker!"

    No, that's not exactly how Sen. Marco Rubio sells himself, but the similarity between his resume and Obama's has a lot of prominent Republicans questioning whether the time is right for Rubio, 43, to run for president. It may also be why even before Jeb Bush took a big step toward running for president, so many politicos in Tallahassee have been speculating not about Rubio's presidential prospects in 2016, but about his gubernatorial prospects in 2018....

    Jeb Bush’s move toward a presidential run could change Marco Rubio’s plans.
  3. How Jeb could snuff out Rubio's presidential hopes: 'We love Marco. We've loved Jeb longer'

    Blog

    From Alex Leary and me:

    Marco Rubio has a big Jeb Bush problem.

    More than a decade after Bush helped cultivate Rubio as a star in the Florida Legislature — literally giving him a sword as a symbol of maintaining the conservative flame — the two are on an awkward collision course over running for president in 2016.

    Former Gov. Bush crushed speculation he would not pursue a campaign by announcing Tuesday that he is "actively" exploring a run and setting up a political committee that will help him travel the country and fill out a political team. He huddled with donors in Miami on Wednesday then did the same in Chicago on Friday....

      Rep. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, holds a sword presented to him by Gov. Jeb Bush, right, during ceremonies designating Rubio as the next Speaker of the House, on Sept. 13, 2005, in Tallahassee. Rubio's term begins in 2006
  4. If Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio both run for president, Florida loyalty belongs to Bush

    State Roundup

    Marco Rubio has a big Jeb Bush problem.

    More than a decade after Bush helped cultivate Rubio as a star in the Florida Legislature — literally giving him a sword as a symbol of maintaining the conservative flame — the two are on an awkward collision course over running for president in 2016.

    Former Gov. Bush crushed speculation he would not pursue a campaign by announcing Tuesday that he is "actively" exploring a run and setting up a political committee that will help him travel the country and fill out a political team. He huddled with donors in Miami on Wednesday then did the same in Chicago on Friday....

    Marco Rubio is greeted by Jeb Bush during an Election Night celebration at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables on Nov. 2, 2010. Rubio was elected to the U.S. Senate.
  5. Political Connections Sun: Charlie Crist campaign manager on what he would do differently

    Blog

    Omar Khan, the former Obama administration official and pride of USF who led Charlie Crist's gubernatorial campaign, appears Sunday on Political Connections on Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay. The full interview can be seen at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday, but here's a clip.

  6. Move over Miami, Tampa now has big say on Cuba policy too

    Blog

    Turn on cable TV and you won't have to wait long to see images of Cuban exiles outside the Versailles restaurant in Miami denouncing President Obama for restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba. It's easy for anyone outside of Florida, or even in most of Florida, to assume those images reflect Florida as a whole.

    They don't.

    Tampa's deep ties to Cuba go back many generations, at least to the days when the Apostle of Cuban Independence, Jose Marti, was in Yboir City talking up the Cuban revolution in the late 19th century. Many Cuban-Americans settled in Tampa before the 1959 revolution and are less consumed with the rise of Castro than exiles in south Florida....

    Kathy Castor
  7. Fla Insider Poll: Those who know them best say Marco Rubio can't compete w Jeb Bush

    Blog

    Marco Rubio says Jeb Bush's move toward a presidential run will have no effect on his own presidential deliberations. But among more than 150 savvy political pros who know Rubio, Bush, and Florida politics best the answer is clear: Bush's candidacy presents a nearly insurmountable obstacle to Sen. Rubio.

    Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed for the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll said Rubio would be unable to raise enough money to mount a competitive campaign if Jeb Bush was also running. Only a quarter of them predict Rubio will actually run now that Bush is poised to do so....

    Jeb Bush overshadows Marco Rubio in Florida
  8. 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....

  9. 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....

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asks questions on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 9, 2014, during a hearing to examine Russia and developments in Ukraine.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) DCPM115
  10. 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
  11. 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....

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is expected to decide early next year if he will run for president in 2016.
  12. 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....

  13. 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...

  14. 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....

  15. 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....