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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. Rick Scott raised $710k in March and spent $410k


    From our friends at News Service of Florida:

    Gov. Rick Scott's "Let's Get to Work" political committee has raised more than $700,000 this month as it has sought to highlight the governor's record, according to a list of contributions on the committee's website. The contributions, totaling $710,000, included $250,000 from the Florida Chamber of Commerce PAC and the chamber's Florida Jobs PAC. Also, the Scott committee received $100,000 from the Voice of Florida Business Political Action Committee and Floridians for A Stronger Democracy, which are linked to Associated Industries of Florida. Other contributions included $25,000 from the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association PAC and $20,000 from The Villages development in Central Florida, according to the website. Let's Get to Work, which played a pivotal role in Scott's 2014 re-election campaign, started running television ads early this month touting the governor's record and his effort to cut taxes. The website also lists about $411,000 in advertising expenses in March....

  2. Charlie Crist endorsing Patrick Murphy for Senate


    We hear Charlie Crist is likely to endorse Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, for U.S. Senate today. Crist had flirted with running for the seat now held by Republican Marco Rubio, but the former governor also is friends with Murphy and Murphy's father, Tom Murphy (whose firm, Coastal Construction paid Crist nearly $200,000 for consulting in 2012 and 2013) and Murphy's top political adviser, Eric Johnson....

  3. Fla poll: In Fla, only 37% want Jeb to run for prez and "very conservative" Republicans prefer Scott Walker


    A new Florida robo poll by the Democratic-leaning Public Poloicy Polling finds a majority of voters don't think either Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush should run for president - and that Hillary Clinton leads all the GOP presidential contender in Florida, although just barely in the cases of Bush and Rubio.

    More from PPP:

    ...The lack of enthusiasm for either Bush or Rubio making a White House bid is at least partially a function of their not being terribly popular. 45% of voters approve of the job Rubio is doing as a Senator to 40% who disapprove. Bush's favorability numbers are similar with 45% giving him good marks to 42% with a negative opinion. Their numbers aren't bad but they aren't that impressive either....Bush leads the Republican field in the state with 25% to 17% for Walker, 15% for Rubio, 12% for Carson, 7% for Huckabee, 6% for Cruz, 4% each for Christie and Paul, and 3% for Perry. Since PPP last did a Presidential poll in Florida last June, Bush has dropped by 5 points while Walker has seen his support increase by 10. Also seeing their stock decline in Florida are Paul whose support is down from 11% in June, Cruz who was previously at 9%, and Christie who was previously at 8%. Florida makes yet another state where Christie is under water with GOP primary voters- 35% rate him favorably to 40% with a negative view.

    Even in his home state Bush lags a little bit with voters identifying themselves as 'very conservative,' trailing with 19% to Walker's 23%. But he has a commanding lead with moderates, getting 33% to only 10% for Walker, that's enough to help give him his overall advantage.

  4. Bob Buckhorn has 'zero' interest in running for Senate in '16


    Debbie Wasserman Schultz yesterday floated a number of names of potential U.S. Senate candidates other than Patrick Murphy.

    Among those, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

    But Buckhorn, widely seen as a leading Democratic contender for governor in 2018, said Monday he has "zero" interest in running for Senate....

  5. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics


    Winner of the week I:

    Reince Priebus. Florida leaders set the state's 2016 presidential primary for March 15 — fully complying with the calendar set by the national political parties, unlike in 2012 and 2008 — and saving the RNC chairman from another Sunshine State-sized headache.

    Winner of the week II

    U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy. With most signs pointing to the South Florida Democratic congressman poised to jump into the 2016 U.S. Senate race ahead of anyone else, it's striking how much enthusiasm Democratic Party leaders have for a figure unknown to the vast majority of Floridians....

  6. 2016 senate race popular

    State Roundup

    Vern Buchanan and Will Weatherford are both looking at the 2016 U.S. Senate seat likely to be vacated by Marco Rubio but are in no rush to make a decision.

    "Too soon to make a decision," former House Speaker Weatherford tells the Buzz. "I am currently enjoying being home and focusing on family and my business."

    Said U.S. Rep. Buchanan, a Sarasota Republican: "Being an open seat, it's something you have to consider. I'm going to take a look at it. Everywhere I turn people bring it up and say, 'You should do it.' "...

    FILE - In this March 18, 2013 file photo, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. Plagued by infighting and deep ideological divisions, state Republican parties are mired in dysfunction. Several state Republican leaders have been forced out or resigned in recent months, and many state GOP parties face financial problems and skeptical national leaders.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) WX201
  7. Here's Rick Scott's award winning anti--Charlie Crist ad


    Congrats to On Message Inc. for winning six Pollie Awards from the American Association for Political Consults for TV ads for Tom Tillis, Tim Cotton, Cory Gardner, the NRA.

    This one earned a Bronze for Best Use of Negative/Contrast for Governor Candidate:

  8. Jeb Bush's Matt Drudge problem and why he ticks off so many conservatives


    Jeb Bush has a serious Matt Drudge problem, and that points to a more fundamental electoral problem.

    Among the most prominent headlines Thursday evening: POLL: 54% WANT FRESH FACES IN '16....NH voters pan Bush...Jeb Still Refuses to Rule Out Tax Hikes......

  9. Adam C. Smith: Jeb Bush has a conservative problem

    State Roundup

    Jeb Bush has a serious Matt Drudge problem, and that points to a more fundamental electoral problem.

    Among the most prominent headlines Thursday evening: POLL: 54% WANT FRESH FACES IN '16....NH voters pan Bush...Jeb Still Refuses to Rule Out Tax Hikes...

    The prior Friday, during his New Hampshire debut as a likely 2016 presidential candidate, much of the mainstream media was gushing over Bush's substance, his accessibility and his refusal to pander to the right on issues like immigration reform. But Drudge offered these headlines: RUBIO ON RISE ... JEB STRUGGLES FROM WITHIN ... Says his view on immigration is 'grown-up plan' ... WALKER: 'WE NEED NAME FROM FUTURE, NOT PAST'......

    Jeb Bush looks like a strong and energetic candidate eager to mix it up with voters and reporters, but he still has a big Matt Drudge problem.
  10. Frank Terraferma teams up w Brett Doster


    Frank Terraferma, the well-respected former House campaigns honcho under Speaker Steve Crisafulli, has joined Front Line Strategies.

    “Few strategists are more respected in this business than Frank Terraferma. His deep knowledge of Florida politics and his command of effective messaging have caused political leaders at every level to seek his advice for more than a decade,” said Brett Doster, President and founder of Front Line Strategies. “Frank and I began working together twenty years ago, and I have always been impressed with his work ethic, political insight, and conservative principles. We cannot be more pleased to have him join this team.”...

  11. Why didn't Columba Bush speak to her dad for 40 years?


    Politico's Michael Kruse headed to Mexico to dig into the estrangement between Columba Bush and her father:

    Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell reiterated Tuesday that Columba Bush’s father abandoned his family. “Mrs. Bush did not have a relationship with her father after he left her mother and their family when Mrs. Bush was just a young teenager,” she said. And published accounts, including one in The New York Times recently, largely have taken that line, calling him a migrant worker and nonpresence in his daughter’s life....

  12. Gov. Rick Scott eyeing run for U.S. Senate — in 2018

    State Roundup

    You might have seen Gov. Rick Scott recently talking to you in a TV ad — "We are expanding our industries, investing in our ports, making a record commitment to you, devoting more resources to education'' — and wondered if he's running for office again.

    That's the plan, but not right away.

    Scott, 62, has told several top Republican fundraisers that he's interested in running for U.S. Senate. It would be in 2018, when Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson's third term ends, rather than in 2016, when a potentially open U.S. Senate seat is enticing plenty of politicians and Scott will still be in the middle of his second term....

    Gov. Rick Scott says he’s focused on his current term as governor but could run for U.S. Senate in 2018, when his term is over.
  13. Gov. Rick Scott eyeing run for U.S. Senate


    But don't panic Jeff Atwater or Carlos Lopez-Cantera. Gov. Scott has told top fundraisers he's interested in running in 2018 - when Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson's third term ends - not 2016, when Scott will still be in the middle of his second term.

    As uncomfortable as Scott often seems in the political world, the U.S. Senate makes sense given that Scott initially seemed far more interested in federal issues than Florida issues. He started his political career with a committee attacking the Affordable Care Act and by the time he turned his attention to running for office in Florida Marco Rubio was well on his way to trouncing Charlie Crist in the Republican U.S. Senate primary....

  14. Jeb still dissing poor Buddy MacKay, 17 years later


    "I've got two pieces of advice for young people who are interested in politics: Run for governor. Don't settle for something not nearly as interesting. And run against a bad candidate if you can because it's easier to win. Or, better stated, don't run against a guy who never lost because I've tried it both ways."

    --- Jeb Bush in New Hampshire Friday, alluding to Buddy MacKay, whom he beat by more than 10 percentage points in 1998 and Lawton Chiles, to whom he lost by 1.6 percentage points in 1994....

  15. One other note about Charlie Crist's interest in running for Senate in '16


    Count The Buzz among those who viewed Peter Hamby's CNN report last week about Charlie Crist running for U.S. Senate in 2016 skeptically. Friends and advisers had heard no hint of interest from Crist, while more than a few of his 2014 financial backers had zero interest in jumping aboard another Crist campaign....