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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. Jeb Bush to NH: Pick me, not John Kasich

    Blog

    The most immediate obstacle to Jeb Bush's path to the nomination is not Donald Trump or Marco Rubio. it's the guy pictured here (a couple minutes ago in the Plaistow Public Library), Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

    Three governors, Bush, Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are trying to emerge from New Hampshire Tuesday with a credible reason for why they they should continue to press on into South Carolina's Feb. 20 primary rather than step aside and let Republicans coalesce around Rubio as the main alternative to Trump or Ted Cruz....

    Kasich at his 104th New Hampshire town hall meeting
  2. Marco Rubio's debate oops threatens to shift momentum of race

    Blog

    SALEM, N.H. — We've heard Donald Trump swear, insult and offend. We've winced as Jeb Bush flailed during debates. We've wondered on occasion whether Ben Carson was fully awake.

    But Marco Rubio gave us the first real oops moment of the 2016 race Saturday night.

    "Let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing," Florida's junior senator said after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accused him of constantly using the same scripted lines in the debate....

  3. Marco Rubio's debate oops threatens to shift momentum of race

    National

    SALEM, N.H. — We've heard Donald Trump swear, insult and offend. We've winced as Jeb Bush flailed during debates. We've wondered on occasion whether Ben Carson was fully awake.

    But Marco Rubio gave us the first real oops moment of the 2016 race Saturday night.

    "Let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing," Florida's junior senator said after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accused him of constantly using the same scripted lines in the debate....

    Marco Rubio and his team dismissed the second-guessing.
  4. Here's how to get tickets to Donald Trump's rally at USF Friday

    Blog

    Donald Trump's rally at the USF Sun Dome is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 12, with doors opening at 5 p.m.. Tickets are free, but people must register for tickets on Eventbrite.com, and bring their printed ticket with them or be prepared to show their ticket on a mobile device at check in.

    People will be screened before entering, so USF advises people not to bring many personal items to speed up the check-in process. "Parking for all patrons is $20.00 per vehicle, cash only," USF said in a release. "Large vehicles will be subject to additional costs. In order to accommodate a smooth and efficient arrival, entrants should allow themselves ample amount of travel time. Please pay close attention to road signage, police officers, and parking attendants."...

    Donald Trump, Republican presidential hopeful, speaks at a campaign event, at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, N.H., on Sunday.
  5. Breaking down the Republican presidential debate

    State Roundup

    The final GOP presidential debate ahead of the New Hampshire primary was Saturday night at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

    It was moderated by ABC's David Muir and Martha Raddatz. Here's your watercooler recap.

    Jeb Bush, 62, former governor of Florida (1999-2007), son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush.

    Quote: "What Donald Trump did was use eminent domain to try to take the property of an elderly woman on the strip in Atlantic City. That is not public purpose, that is downright wrong."...

    Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., answers a question as Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump listens during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by ABC News at the St. Anselm College  Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  6. The Buzz: Jeb Bush uses mom, 90, in mocking tweet against Trump

    State Roundup

    Jeb Bush likes to campaign as if he's the grown-up among the Republicans running for president, but that doesn't mean he's not above acting like a middle-schooler sometimes.

    On Friday, amid a heavy snowstorm in Iowa, Donald Trump announced he was canceling a town hall event scheduled in Londonderry, N.H.

    Bush tweeted out a message to Trump in response: "My 90-year-old mother made it out to campaign," he said, including a photo of Barbara Bush shaking hands with a little girl at a campaign stop....

    Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio laughs while speaking at a rally, Saturday in Johnston, Iowa. [Associated Press]
  7. Jeb Bush VS. Marco Rubio: Two town halls, two tan zip up sweaters

    Blog

    NASHUA, N.H. — Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are slugging it out on the presidential campaign trail, trading insults about experience and readiness.

    But turn down the volume and there's little difference on the issues. The Florida Republicans want to strengthen the military, turn back the nuclear accord with Iran, repeal Obamacare and end burdensome business regulation. Both promise a better tomorrow....

    They differ little on issues and a lot in style and polish
  8. Marco Rubio vs. Jeb Bush: A tale of two town halls

    State Roundup

    NASHUA, N.H. — Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are slugging it out on the presidential campaign trail, trading insults about experience and readiness.

    But turn down the volume and there's little difference on the issues. The Florida Republicans want to strengthen the military, turn back the nuclear accord with Iran, repeal Obamacare and end burdensome business regulation. Both promise a better tomorrow....

    Barbara Bush, right, mother of Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, left, introduces her son at a town hall meeting at West Running Brook Middle School in Derry, N.H., Thursday Feb. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
  9. Donald Trump heading to Tampa

    Blog

    Donald Trump is planning a rally at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa next Friday, Feb. 12. That's three days after New Hampshire's primary, so we should have a better sense then of how much competition Trump will face in Florida's March 15 primary from homeboys Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

    Details to come. The Trump campaign has not announced the event officially yet. The arena can seat over 10,000 people....

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally Thursday at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, N.H.
  10. Donald Trump still mocking Jeb Bush

    Blog

    EXETER, N.H. -- Jeb Bush doesn't seem like a serious threat to Donald Trump yet, but Bush's steady criticism of Trump and his super PACs TV ads against Trump seem to be getting under Trump's skin.

    At least twice in his 40-minute town hall event in Exeter today, Trump brought up Florida's governor. He was the only Republican Trump mentioned by name, and he did it repeaedly.

    "Look what's happened in Florida," Trump said when someone asked about "sanctuary cities" for undocumented immigrants. "I mean Jeb Bush was governor and you have sanctuary cities. Now he says, 'Oh I don't like sanctuary cities,'  Well, he was governor and you had sanctuary cites. Hey by the way ... Jeb is in favor of Common Core."...

  11. Chris Christie's goal: Pummeling Marco Rubio, Jersey-style

    Blog

    Chris Christie can't stop talking about Marco Rubio.

    In Concord on Wednesday, he accused Florida's senator of answering questions from as few voters and reporters as possible.

    "By the way," the New Jersey governor said, "anybody notice it's the same speech he gave when he announced for the United States Senate, it's the same speech he gave when he nominated Mitt Romney for president of the United States, it's the same speech he gave when he announced for president, it's the same speech he gave in Iowa the other night? Every day is Groundhog Day with the Rubio campaign."...

  12. Blunt Chris Christie makes Marco Rubio top target as he tries to break out

    National

    BOW, N.H. — Chris Christie can't stop talking about Marco Rubio.

    In Concord on Wednesday, he accused Florida's senator of answering questions from as few voters and reporters as possible.

    "By the way," the New Jersey governor said, "anybody notice it's the same speech he gave when he announced for the United States Senate, it's the same speech he gave when he nominated Mitt Romney for president of the United States, it's the same speech he gave when he announced for president, it's the same speech he gave in Iowa the other night? Every day is Groundhog Day with the Rubio campaign."...

    NASHUA, NH - FEBRUARY 01:  Republican presidential hopeful New Jersey Governor Chris Christie answers questions at a campaign event at Nashua Community College on February 1, 2016 in Nashua, New Hampshire. The New Hampshire primary is next week, February 9, 2016.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) 602824029
  13. Now it's Marco Rubio vs. the governors in New Hampshire (w/video)

    Elections

    NASHUA, N.H.

    Now it's Marco Rubio versus the governors.

    The volatile Republican presidential primary has shifted to New Hampshire where Rubio faces three governors — Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — determined to take him down next week.

    New Hampshire is where the real culling of the presidential field takes place, and it was immediately clear Tuesday that the days of "Iowa nice" campaigning are over....

    NASHUA, NH - FEBRUARY 01:  Sienna Szarek, age 7, is lifted up after singing the national anthem before a campaign event for Republican presidential hopeful New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at Nashua Community College on February 1, 2016 in Nashua, New Hampshire. The New Hampshire primary is next week, February 9, 2016.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) 602824029
  14. 'I used to love Jeb Bush'

    Blog

    At a Jeb Bush town hall meeting in Manchester last night we ran into Marie Stevens, a payroll manager, who lived in Pinellas County from 2000 to 2002. She's a New Hampshire voter now, but like so many Floridians who remember him as governor she's struggling to figure out what happened to Jeb Bush's presidential prospects.

    "When I first heard he was running, I was so excited because he was such a great governor. He was just amazing," said Stevens. "But his numbers just aren't there. I don't know if it's his age or what."...

  15. Now it's Marco Rubio vs the governors in N.H.

    Blog

    This morning on tampabay.com: "The volatile Republican primary moved overnight from Des Moines to Manchester, and Rubio heads into the Granite State today facing three governors — Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — determined to take him down. New Hampshire has a track record for ignoring Iowa caucus results, and it's likely the final stand for the each of the governors aiming to finish stronger than Rubio and emerge as a viable alternative to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump."...