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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. What in Jeb Bush's record suggests he can untangle DC gridlock?

    Blog

    "Aren't you tired of the gridlock in Washington DC?," Jeb Bush asked a crowd of several hundred supporters in Maitland Monday. "I know how to do this. Because I was a reform-minded governor who got thing things done in a very purple state -Florida."

    It's a big theme of Bush's candidacy, that he has what it takes to finally get Washington workling again. He talked repeatedly about consensus-building and reaching out to people who disagree. As governor, Bush pursued a big ambitious agenda, from privatizing services to dramatically overhauling the education system, but her did it with mostly compliant fellow Republicans controlling the legislature and never had to deal with partisan gridlock....

  2. A 'happy' Jeb Bush brings campaign to Central Florida

    Blog

    MAITLAND — Repeat after Jeb Bush: He is not angry. Not even a tiny bit.

    Florida's Republican former governor is happy — joyful even. And campaigning throughout Orlando Monday the merriest of presidential candidates reminded supporters over and over again that he is nothing like some of churlish counterparts in the GOP primary.

    Here's the deal: I don't have anger in my heart," he told hundreds at a community center in Maitland Monday evening. "We shouldn't be scolding people. We shouldn't be saying outrageous things that turns people off to the conservative message."...

  3. A 'happy' Jeb Bush takes presidential campaign to Central Florida

    State Roundup

    MAITLAND — Repeat after Jeb Bush: He is not angry. Not even a tiny bit.

    Florida's Republican former governor is happy — joyful even. And campaigning throughout Orlando on Monday the merriest of presidential candidates reminded supporters over and over again that he is nothing like some of his churlish counterparts in the GOP primary.

    "Here's the deal: I don't have anger in my heart," he told hundreds of people at a community center in Maitland on Monday evening. "We shouldn't be scolding people. We shouldn't be saying outrageous things that turns people off to the conservative message."...

    Jeb Bush says he’s the “joyful tortoise” in the race.
  4. The isolation of Rick Scott

    Blog

    AP's Gary Fineout looks at Rick Scott's rocky relationship with, well, most everybody:in his party:

    ....He's not actively helping the Republican Party of Florida, his recent budget vetoes angered already fragile relations with Senate Republicans, and he's at odds with other statewide elected officials such as Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. There are questions about his relationship with Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera after Scott didn't rely on the former legislator to help push his agenda in the Legislature this past spring....

  5. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week: Charlie Crist 
    Jason from Friday the 13th. The Phoenix rising from the ashes. The Terminator. Whatever simile you choose, it is now clear beyond any doubt that Charlie Crist’s political prospects can never be killed for good. Now it looks likely that he will run for Congress in Pinellas County. 

    Runner up: Rick Scott, who acted swiftly and decisively to protect military recruiters in Florida by moving them to armories after the attack on two facilities in Tennessee....

  6. Rising star Graham in no hurry to jump into Senate race

    State Roundup

    U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, a rising star in Florida politics, is not rushing to plot her next move in light of a Florida Supreme Court decision that could reshape her already competitive North Florida district in a more Republican way.

    "I'm waiting like everybody else to see what maps are produced," the first-term Democrat from Tallahassee said in an interview outside the House chamber on Thursday....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks to the National Christian Hispanic Leadership Conference in Houston, Tuesday, April 29, 2015. It is his second appearance with a Spanish-speaking audience this week. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) TXPS105
  7. Donald Trump is the gift that keeps on giving to Jeb Bush

    Blog

    Jeb Bush has raised more than $100 million for his presidential campaign, but the strongest 2016 weapon of late hasn't cost him a dime: Donald Trump.

    For weeks, the blustery billionaire has made it next to impossible for any other Republican candidate to be noticed or emerge as a viable alternative to the former Florida governor.

    Even as Bush and his allies publicly tsk tsk The Donald's inflammatory rhetoric, many of them are quietly thrilled at how helpful Trump has been, albeit unintentionally....

  8. Donald Trump is the gift that keeps on giving to Jeb Bush

    Elections

    Jeb Bush has raised more than $100 million for his presidential campaign, but the strongest 2016 weapon of late hasn't cost him a dime: Donald Trump.

    For weeks, the blustery billionaire has made it next to impossible for any other Republican candidate to be noticed or emerge as a viable alternative to the former Florida governor.

    Even as Bush and his allies publicly tsk tsk The Donald's inflammatory rhetoric, many of them are quietly thrilled at how helpful Trump has been, albeit unintentionally....

    Gov. Jeb Bush, posing with children in Lancaster, N.H., on Thursday said in a speech, “I’m running to draw people toward our cause rather than push them away.”
  9. David Jolly's wife visited Cuba

    Blog

    The Republican-controlled  Senate Appropriations Committee voted to lift the long-standing ban on travel to Cuba yesterday - highlighting a clear policy dividing line among the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in 2016.

    Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach both oppose easing travel restrictions while U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, in June was one of 18 House Republicans who voted in favor lifting travel restrictions....

  10. Political race of the year?: Rick Baker vs. Charlie Crist

    Blog


    We're told we underestimated former St. Pete Mayor Rick Baker's interest in running for the Pinellas County Congressional seat now held by David Jolly. Republican Baker has already confirmed he is considering it - as is Democrat Charlie Crist - but the big question is how the district looks after state lawmakers re-draw the boundaries under orders from the Florida Supreme Court.

    If the district winds up decidedly Democratic - say, one where analysts would rate is as a district a Democrat would typically win by 5 percentage points - Baker allies think he could win Congressional District 13. Baker, after all, overhwhelmingly won Democratic and African-American precincts in his mayoral campaigns. Those may have been non-partisan races, but Baker never hid his Republican allegiance, and his Democratic opponents stressed them. If, however, the district winds up overwhelmingly Democratic - say, where a Democrat would typically win by 15 percentage points - then it would be all but impossible for any Republican.

    Crist versus Baker. That would be a barn burner.

    "A congressional race between Rick Baker and Charlie Crist would not only be arguably one of the biggest congressional races in the country, but one of the greatest political stories of the year," said Adam Goodman, Baker's longtime political adviser....

  11. Charge: “Jeb Bush has excellent experience w political hacks & crooks because he surrounded himself with them"

    Blog

    From Marc Caputo's hard-hitting look at accountability in Jeb Bush's administration:

    Ron McAndrew, a Florida Republican who once backed Bush and had served as the warden of Florida State Prison, scoffed at Bush’s comment that he cracked down on “incompetence or scandalous behavior.”

    “Jeb Bush has excellent experience with political hacks and crooks because he surrounded himself with them,” McAndrew, who was succeeded as prison warden by Jimmy Crosby, told POLITICO. “He has little experience with real accountability, taking responsibility or firing people who needed to be fired.”...

  12. Florida Insider Poll: David Jolly, Gwen Graham top picks for U.S. Senate race

    State Roundup

    The strongest Democratic and Republican candidates for Florida's U.S. Senate race are a couple of congressional rookies who have yet to finish a full term in the U.S. House.

    That, at least, is the conventional wisdom underscored in the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll. One hundred and sixty of Florida's savviest and most experienced political players voted U.S. Reps. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, and Gwen Graham, D-Tallahassee, the most formidable general election candidates their parties could field to succeed Republican Sen. Marco Rubio....

  13. Rick Santorum lands a prominent fundraiser in the land of Jeb and Marco

    Blog

    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum today named a 42-person national finance committee that included Naples resident Carol Donahue Moore. She is a philanthropist and part of the family that founded Pittsburgh-based Federated Investors.
     

  14. Pinellas' top Dem fundraiser on Crist candidacy: Sorry Charlie, I'm already committed

    Blog

    There is probably no fundraiser/power broker sought after by Pinellas County Democrats than Craig Sher, excecutive chairman of the Sembler Co. development firm. He currently serves as finance chairman of Democrat Eric Lynn's campaign for congress, just as he played a big role in helping Alex Sink's campaign for that same congressional seat and Rick Kriseman's campaign for mayor.

    So might Sher shift candidates when and if a heavyweight like Charlie Crist enters the race?...

  15. Here's what the Fla Insiders say about US Senate race

    Blog

    We asked more than 160 of Florida brightest and most experienced politicos about who they see as the likely Democratic and Republican primary winners in the race to succeed Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate, who would be the strongest general election candidates, and whether U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham would be wise to run for U.S. Senate if her north Florida district is redrawn to be overwhelmingly Republican:...