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. Charlie Crist NASCAR sponsorship scrubbed

    Blog

    The red flag has been waved on Charlie Crist at the Daytona International Speedway.

    A campaign gift of a NASCAR sponsorship for Saturday's nationally televised Coke Zero 400 is now off — not because the rival Republican Party of Florida complained, but because the registered owner of the race car in question, record producer Mike Curb, used to be a Republican lieutenant governor of California and asked the decals not appear....

      Josh Wise's crew services his car in the garage area during Sprint Cup practice at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday. The Charlie Crist stickers are clearly visible, but have since been ordered removed
  2. Charlie Crist campaign sponsors NASCAR car

    Blog

    Given how frugal Charlie Crist has tended to be with his campaign money, this surprised us, even knowing that adviser Steve Schale is a racing buff: His campaign is sponsoring a car in the Coke Zero 400. These sponsorships can cost as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    "The campaign spent no money on this and the cost of wrapping the car was an in kind donation from a supporter who is a big NASCAR fan," said campaign spokesman Brendan Gilfillian....

  3. Fla Poll: Rick Scott 41%, Charlie Crist 39%, 59% back marijuana

    Blog

    Gravis Marketing has a new robo poll out that appears in line with most other public polls recently: Rick Scott leads Charlie Crist in the governor's race 41 percent to 39 percent, which is within the survey's plus of minus 3 percent margin of error. Libertarian nomineee Adrian Wylie draws 6 percent

    Meanwhile, only 50 percent of voters  support legal medical marrijuana as a general concept - significantly less than the 60 percent thresshold for passage - but 59 percent would vote for the ballot language....

  4. Nickens: Charlie Crist is off his game

    Blog

    From Tampa Bay Times Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens:

    Rick Scott has done more damage to this state than any modern governor.

    The Republican has starved public schools and higher education, disregarded voting rights and privacy rights, and dismantled environmental protections. He has little feel for Florida and sides with electric utilities, property insurers, developers and the National Rifle Association over the concerns of families struggling to pay bills, afford health insurance, find quality public schools for their kids and keep their neighborhoods safe....

  5. Bill Clinton fires up Florida Democrats, who face a big election-year challenge

    Blog

    For the first time in two decades, Florida Democrats are likely to field a gubernatorial candidate well known across the state. Charlie Crist is breaking Democratic fundraising records and taking on an incumbent who is among the most unpopular and vulnerable governors in the country.

    But even as former President Bill Clinton fired up 1,600 party activists and donors Saturday night at a swank, ocean-front hotel in South Florida, Democrats in America's biggest battleground state faced a bleak reality: Election Day in four months could pull their already beleaguered party to a new low....

    Charlie Crist and Bill Clinton together Saturday night
  6. Bill Clinton fires up Florida Democrats, who face big election-year challenge

    State Roundup

    HALLANDALE BEACH

    For the first time in two decades, Florida Democrats are likely to field a gubernatorial candidate well known across the state. Charlie Crist is breaking Democratic fundraising records and taking on an incumbent who is among the most unpopular and vulnerable governors in the country. But even as former President Bill Clinton fired up 1,600 party activists and donors Saturday night at a swank, oceanfront hotel in South Florida, Democrats in America's biggest battleground state faced a bleak reality: Election Day in four months could pull their already beleaguered party to a new low....

    U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said that Florida Democrats are moving in the right direction, but the process will take time.
  7. Welcome to the NFL, Charlie Crist

    State Roundup

    Charlie Crist's campaign in recent days has been in full outrage mode, suggesting that Gov. Rick Scott and his allies have hit "a new low" in sleazy, negative campaigning. Why?

    Because Scott's Let's Get to Work Committee released an ad Wednesday that featured an image of former first lady Carole Crist and noting that the Crists are declining to release her tax returns. "What's he hiding?" the ad asks. Crist campaign adviser Kevin Cate contends that targeting a candidate's spouse in a TV ad is unprecedented in Florida and beyond the pale....

    Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, answers a question to a reporter at Miami International Airport in Miami, Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. Gov. Crist says the federal government has agreed to reimburse the state's costs in treating the victims of Haiti's earthquake. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) FLAD108
  8. Political Connections Sun: Nan Rich says she's much stronger against Rick Scott than Charlie Crist

    Blog

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich appears Sunday on Political Connections on Bay News 9, where she laments that the state and national Democratic parties are "putting their finger on the scale" in favor of Charlie Crist. In fact, the former Broward County state legislator argues, she would make a far stronger nominee to take on Gov. Rick Scott than Crist.

    Political Connections airs at 11 a.m. and  8 p.m. on Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay. Here's a clip....

  9. Welcome to the NFL, Charlie Crist

    Blog

    Charlie Crist's campaign in recent days has been in full outrage mode, suggesting that Rick Scott and his allies have hit "a new low" in sleazy, negative campaigning. Why? Because Scott's Let's Get to Work Committee released an ad yesterday that featured an image of former First Lady Carole Crist and noting that the Crists are declining to release her tax returnns. "What's he hiding?" the ad asks, while Crist campaign adviser Kevin Cate contends targeting a candidate's spouse in a TV ad is unprecedented in Florida and beyond the pale....

  10. Lotsa questions about a longshot GOP challenger to Rick Scott

    Blog

    The Sarasota Herald-Tribine took a closer look at one of the obscure, longshot Republicans running for governor. From the H-t:


    How does a Nigerian-educated pharmacist raise $182,000 in the governor’s race with no name recognition, no political ties and a website that says she’s running for “new age ruler?”

    She gets it from hundreds of donors who say they live in Florida but do not, from dozens of addresses that don’t show up on a map and from at least three people who appear to be dead....

  11. Cocaine bust for former Fla legislator

    Blog

    From the Sun-Sentinel:

    When former state legislator Mandy Dawson appeared in court four months ago, a federal judge who could have returned her to prison for violating probation instead gave her a second chance.

    But that chance may now be blown.

    Dawson, 57, was arrested at her home in Daytona Beach on Friday after a urine test revealed that she had again used cocaine while on probation stemming from a guilty plea to federal tax evasion, according to a warrant executed by the U.S. Marshals Service....

    Mandy Dawson
  12. Dean Cannon rips Rick Scott in tough ad

    Blog

    But it was in 2010, not 2014, when former  Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon's political committee paid for tough TV ads ripping Rick Scott as a sleazy businessman with no business in the governor's mansion. At this point four years ago, Scottt was a stranger and nearly a pariaah to the Florida GOP establishment which was determined to hand the nomination to Bill McCollum. Today, Scott is the GOP establishment....

  13. Nan Rich qualifies for Fla Gov race against Charlie Crist

    Blog

    Former State Senator Nan Rich filed this morning to run as a Democratic candidate for Governor of Florida, ensuriung a credible - though perhaps not viable given her paltry fundraising and lack of name recognition - primary challenger to Charlie Crist.

    “Today, I reaffirm my commitment to this race and my commitment to Florida’s voters,” said Rich in a news release.  “When I announced my candidacy for governor a little over 2 years ago, I was answering the call of a growing chorus of Democratic voices rising across Florida.  They were the voices of voters and activists who were frustrated with the failure of the last 3 Republican governors to offer real leadership to help solve Florida’s critical problems or to face the challenges ahead....

  14. Democrats air first TV ad against Rick Scott

    Blog

    The Florida Democratic party says its first TV ad in the governor's race is a six-figure buy for the Tampa, Orlando, and West Palm Beach markets. The subject? Gov. Rick Scott's background leading a health care company that paid record fines for alleged Medicare fraud. Focusing on his private sector background, rather than Scott's record as governor, reflecrs a wide-held view that 2010 Democratic nominee did not prosecute the Medicare fraud issue aggressively enough....

  15. Charlie Crist defends decision to run for Senate in 2010

    State Roundup

    It's one of the main arguments that Rick Scott and the Florida GOP are making against likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist: When Florida's economy tanked and residents needed his leadership most, Crist bailed to run for the U.S. Senate. "He didn't stay to fix the mess. He ran away," says a TV ad slamming Crist as a "slick politician, lousy governor."

    History may show that Crist's decision not to seek a second term as governor was the dumbest political decision he ever made, but in a Political Connections interview airing today on Bay News 9, Crist makes no apologies for that decision and has no regrets about it....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Alexander Hamilton Award Dinner, Monday, May 12, 2014, in New York. Bush and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., courted some of Wall Street's most powerful political donors Monday night, competing for attention from tuxedoed hedge fund executives gathered in midtown Manhattan as the early jockeying in the 2016 presidential contest quietly continues. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) NYJM117