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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. Marco Rubio was a registered federal lobbyist


    The Washington Post digs into Rubio's "soaring personal income" as his political influence grew and found something that was news to us: Rubio was a registered federal lobbyist.

    ...In December 2003, Rubio was registered as a federal lobbyist for Becker & Poliakoff in Washington, according to records maintained by the House and the Senate and never previously reported. The registration form, which includes Rubio’s signature, declares that he would concentrate on “budget appropriations and health care.”...

  2. Fla GOP accuses Hillary Clinton of snubbing Fla


    Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robbie Mook, is headlining a low-dollar ($25 per guest) fundraising reception this evening at Mise en Place. The event is closed to the press, and the campaign declined interview requests. For those keeping track - the Republican Party of Florida, for instance - the reception marks the latest example for the Clinton campaign declining to do any public events. So far she and her campaign team have only held closed-door money-raising events in the Sunshine/Bush-Rubio state....

  3. 'Jeb's Florida fails as a model for the nation'


    As Jeb Bush touts his record leading Florida as a model for how he grow the national economy by at least 4 percent a year, he faces a good deal of skepticism from analysts who see another factor as much more important than Gov. Bush in Florida's economic growth from 1999 to 2007: The housing bubble.

    From retired UF economist David Denslow this weekend: "(E)veryone knows that Florida’s strong growth from 1999 through 2006, his years as governor, was fueled by a housing bubble, even zanier here than in most other states. Fortuitously, the bubble slowed and then burst as Jeb left office, plunging Florida deep into recession.... Jeb’s Florida fails as a model for the nation..."...

  4. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics


    Winner of the week

    GOP leadership. The U.S. Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act ruling means party leaders across the state and the country don't have to deal with millions of constituents losing health insurance subsidies. They can continue denouncing the Affordable Care Act without offering an alternative or a coherent policy on health care reform. And, also courtesy of the Supreme Court, they can declare gay marriage the law of the land and move past a wedge issue damaging the GOP brand....

    Republican candidates can breath easier and avoid coming up their own credible policy
  5. Dem Eric Lynn reports daunting fundraising number to take on David Jolly


    Democratic congressional candidate Eric Lynn, running against Republican incumbent David Jolly of St. Petersburg, hasn't done much to scare off potential primary rivals. Both St. Petersburg City Council member Darden Rice and former Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern are seriously looking at jumping in the race. But they may think again when they see Lynn's early fundraising numbers....

  6. A Florida Supreme Court ruling that could add chaos to 2016 races


    What could be one of the biggest political stories of this election cycle also happens to be among the least talked about: the chaos poised to ensue if the Florida Supreme Court tosses out the state's latest congressional districts drawn by the Legislature.

    We're not predicting it will happen — and we may know as early as Thursday — but we've heard a fair amount of chatter and speculation about it lately. The stakes are enormous, with big implications not only for members of Congress but also for the 2016 race for U.S. Senate and even perhaps the 2018 race for governor. Consider:...

     [photo from U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service website.]
  7. About that next career move for Melissa Sellers


    The announcement by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal this week that he was jumping into the crowded Republican presidential primary field prompted widespread speculation that Melissa Sellers, a former senior Jindal adviser, would leave Gov. Rick Scott's staff as chief of staff to join Jindal's campaign. Sellers, who managed Scott's reelection campaign, has antagonized plenty of legislators in Tallahassee since she became Scott chief of staff seven months ago - his fourth chief of staff in 4 1/2 years....

    Sellers, right, used to work for Bobby Jindal
  8. How this election cycle in Fla could be poised to blow up


    What could be one of the biggest political stories of this election cycle also happens to be amond the least talked about: The chaos poised to ensue if the Florida Supreme Court tosses out Florida's latest Congressional districts drawn by the legislature. We're not predicting it will happen - and we may know as early as today - but we've heard a fair amount of chatter and speculation about it lately....

  9. Poll: Voters give low marks to Fla legislature, Rick Scott


    That Quinnipiac Florida poll released today finds voters feeling better about the performance of Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio than Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida legislature. Here are the job approval/disapprovals results in the Q poll:

    Rick Scott: 39 percent approve/49 percent disapprove. That's his lowest approval rating in Q polls since May 2011....

  10. Fla as case study of how demographics don't necessarily mean Democratic gains


    The New Republic's Suzy Khimm takes a deep dive into Florida's I-4 Corridor, and sees a case study for the deep problems facing the Democratic party nationally. Even with demographic trends favoring the Democrats, the party seems tol be in "free fall" in key races other than presidential elections:...

  11. Adam C. Smith: Weaker Jeb Bush still safest bet to win

    State Roundup

    Jeb Bush began to "actively explore" a presidential run six months ago, and the plan was to raise so much money and show so much political strength as to scare away credible Republican rivals, much as brother George W. Bush did in 1999.

    But as Florida's former governor finally makes his 2016 candidacy official today in Miami, he hardly looks like an inevitable nominee or runaway frontrunner. He actually looks significantly weaker than he did when he started this process....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at a news conference in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
  12. David Jolly foe Eric Lynn opposes trade deal


    Democratic Congressional candidate Eric Lynn, a former member of the Barack Obama administration running against David Jolly in Pinellas County's Congressional District 13 today came out against the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. This puts him on the same side of the TPP issue as Jolly, and at odds with his old boss, the president.

    Here's the letter Lynn sent to supporters today, when all but :...

  13. Time to move the Fla Democratic party from Tallahassee


    That's number 7 on Democratic consultant Steve Schale's recommendations for the Florida Democratic Party:

    ...Part and parcel to #3, there is no reason for the FDP to be located in Tallahassee. It's geographically misplaced and it's an echo chamber that isn't representative of the state.
    Go to the Orlando media market. That is where the state is most dynamic right now. Lay down a marker and start organizing.

  14. Fla Democrats draft their agenda to return to relevance


    We're trying to restrain our snark as we write up the highlights of the draft report from the Florida Democratic Party's LEAD (Leadership Expansion to Advance Democrats) Task Force. Led by Sen. Bill Nelson and former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings, the committee was created after the party's latest drubbing in November, but the draft report seems like it could have been banged out in an hour....

  15. State's top elections chief faces critics in Orlando

    State Roundup

    ORLANDO — As Florida heads toward a historic presidential election cycle with two home state favorites running, those in charge of orchestrating convenient, snafu-free voting statewide have charged that the administration of Gov. Rick Scott too often works against them, rather than with them.

    The ongoing tension was on display in Orlando Wednesday, as Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Florida's top elections official, addressed a conference of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. Leaders of the association are still fuming over Detzner earlier this year trying to torpedo online voter registration in Florida, which is offered in at least 20 other states and had overwhelming bi-partisan support. His opposition came after he told supervisors he supported the initiative....