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. Times/BayNews9/Graham Center poll: Rick Scott 41%, Charlie Crist 36%

    Blog

    Republican Gov. Rick Scott has opened up a 5-point lead over Democratic rival Charlie Crist as a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/UF Bob Graham Center poll finds Florida voters mostly optimistic about the state's economic direction but decidedly sour on their gubernatorial choices.

    Scott received support from 40.9 percent of those surveyed, Crist drew 35.7 percent and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie 6.3 percent. When asked to choose between only Scott and Crist, Scott's lead grew to 6 points over Crist, 43.7 percent to 37.6 percent....

  2. Times poll: Florida voters remain skeptical about Obamacare

    State Roundup

    Florida voters may overwhelmingly support Charlie Crist's view that the minimum wage should increase, but they also share Gov. Rick Scott's deep skepticism about the Affordable Care Act.

    A new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/UF Bob Graham Center poll found 37.3 percent of likely Florida voters would like Obamacare repealed entirely, and another 20.9 percent would like "major changes" in the health care law. ...

  3. Times poll: Rick Scott leads Charlie Crist, 41-36

    State Roundup

    Republican Gov. Rick Scott has opened up a 5-point lead over Democratic rival Charlie Crist as a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/UF Bob Graham Center poll finds Florida voters mostly optimistic about the state's economic direction but decidedly sour on their gubernatorial choices.

    Scott received support from 40.9 percent of those surveyed, Crist drew 35.7 percent and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie 6.3 percent. When asked to choose between only Scott and Crist, Scott's lead grew to 6 points over Crist, 43.7 percent to 37.6 percent....

    FILE- This April 29, 2014, file photo shows Florida Gov. Rick Scott as he speaks to members of the media in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Becoming a governor can take years of paying political dues and a grueling nomination battle. Once it’s gotten, keeping the power tends to be easier. Incumbents are tough to beat, particularly when the economy is on the upswing. That’s the case this year when 36 states pick governors. (AP Photo, File) WX821
  4. John Morgan, caught on video, gives pot opponents an opening

    State Roundup

    John Morgan, the trial lawyer leading and funding the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, should hope that the folks on the other side don't turn a recent video clip of Morgan into a TV ad. Morgan, appearing to have a cocktail in hand and sounding like it too, led a rally in the Lakeland area Friday. The video, which you can watch at tampabay.com/video, does not help Morgan's case....

    John Morgan, leading the effort to legalize medical marijuana, had choice words for young supporters in Lakeland.
  5. John Morgan's uncharming pitch for medical marijuana

    Blog

    John Morgan, the trial lawyer leading and funding the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, should hope that the folks on the other side don't turn the following clip of Morgan into a TV ad. Morgan, appearing to have a cocktail in hand and sounding like it too, led a rally in the Lakeland area Friday. The video does not help Morgan's case.

    "If you mother ------s don't get out and vote, ---- it all, we can't win," he tells the rowdy crowd of young supporters....

  6. Adam C. Smith column: The contemptuous Florida governor's race

    State Roundup

    SARASOTA — Rick Scott, in some respects, makes it easy on journalists. If a reporter misses something he says in an interview, maybe even spaces out for a moment, it doesn't really matter, because Scott is certain to say the same thing again. And again. And again.

    So it was Labor Day in Sarasota, as the Florida governor invited a few reporters to join him on a campaign "bus tour," which in fact was an opportunity to chat with Scott aboard his "Let's Keep Working" bus as it traveled about four blocks to a boisterous rally at Walt's Fish Market. The trip somehow lasted nearly 30 minutes, which was more than enough time to get a clear sense of Scott's campaign message for the next two months: Charlie Crist is a slick talker but a lousy chief executive. And he's pals with President Barack Obama....

    Left: Gov. Rick Scott visits Southside Elementary School in Miami on Wednesday for a news conference. Right: Charlie Crist at his campaign headquarters in Fort Lauderdale after winning Democratic party primary on Aug. 26. [Associated Press / Miami Herald]
  7. Rick Scott rips Charlie Crist as failure

    Blog

    SARASOTA – Rick Scott in some respects makes it easy on journalists. If a reporter misses something he says in an interview, maybe even spaces out for moment, it doesn’t really matter because Scott is certain to say the same thing again. And again. And again.

    So it was Labor Day in Sarasota, as the governor invited a few reporters to join the governor on a campaign “bus tour,” which in fact was an opportunity to chat with the governor aboard his “Let’s Keep Working” campaign bus as it travelled about four blocks to a boisterous campaign rally at Walt’s Fish Market. The trip somehow lasted nearly 30 minutes, which was more than enough time to get a clear sense of Scott’s campaign message for the next two months: Charlie Crist is a slick talker, but a lousy chief executive. And he’s pals with Barack Obama....

  8. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Charlie Crist. The puny turnout did not exactly signal Democratic enthusiasm, but Crist's 3-to-1 primary victory over Nan Rich should tamp down chatter about Democrats not being ready to embrace the former Republican.

    Loser of the week

    Jeb Bush. The Lee County School Board voted to opt out of Common Core. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a presidential contender, sued the federal government over Common Core, while Rick Scott is scrambling to distance himself from Common Core and standardized testing. Bush's strength as a presidential candidate looks much more dubious today than a few months ago, amid widespread backlash against education accountability policies closely associated with him....

  9. Crist calls on Scott to stop defense of gay marriage ban

    News

    Charlie Crist is calling on Rick Scott to pull the plug on the state's efforts to defend its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

    "Courts throughout Florida are endorsing the principle that government ought not deprive an entire class of citizens the right to marry simply because of whom they love. Florida deserves a governor who will stand up for all of the people of this state," Crist wrote in a letter to Scott released to the media....

  10. Here's how Charlie Crist beats Rick Scott

    Blog

    Charlie Crist's political fortunes have been hitched to President Barack Obama, for better or worse, since their man hug five years ago helped sink him in the Republican Party.

    So it may seem counterintuitive that as the Crist campaign plots its path to victory over Gov. Rick Scott, the benchmark is not Obama winning Florida in 2008 or 2012. Rather, it's Alex Sink's narrow loss to Scott in 2010....

  11. Mapping the path for Charlie Crist to be elected Florida governor again

    State Roundup

    Charlie Crist's political fortunes have been hitched to President Barack Obama, for better or worse, since their man hug five years ago helped sink him in the Republican Party.

    So it may seem counterintuitive that as the Crist campaign plots its path to victory over Gov. Rick Scott, the benchmark is not Obama winning Florida in 2008 or 2012. Rather, it's Alex Sink's narrow loss to Scott in 2010....

    Charlie Crist, former Republican governor turned Democrat, greets supporters at a campaign stop on Aug. 24 in North Miami. Crist spent last weekend campaigning in the Democratic base of South Florida, which will be key to his winning the race.
  12. Charlie Crist calls on Rick Scott to stop Fla's defense of gay marriage ban

    Blog

    A letter released by the Charlie Crist campaign:

    Dear Governor Scott:
     
    Four years ago, a district court of appeals ruled Florida’s ban on gay and lesbian adoption unconstitutional.
     
    When the ruling came down, I believed it was my job as Governor to exercise the authority vested in me by the people and our Constitution. The day the judge ruled, I declared Florida’s adoption ban over. Gay and lesbian parents began adopting the children they loved immediately.
     
    It is one of my proudest moments as an elected official.
     
    Last Thursday Federal District Judge Robert Hinkle gave you the same chance to speak out for what is right when, in a ruling that would apply statewide, he struck down Florida’s ban on same sex marriage. By declaring the marriage ban finished you could discourage any future appeals and end the nightmare that loving same sex couples all across our state endure every single day, ending court battles that could drag on for months or years
     
    Courts throughout Florida are endorsing the principle that government ought not deprive an entire class of citizens the right to marry simply because of whom they love. Florida deserves a governor who will stand up for all of the people of this state.
     
    You have the power to end the suffering of people like Arlene Goldberg. Last March, Arlene lost her wife and partner of 47 years, Carol Goldwasser. At a moment of enormous and understandable grief, Arlene had to suffer the humiliation of not being listed as Carol’s wife on the death certificate. Even worse, she lost her home because she was denied the social security benefits they had earned.
     
     When faced with a very similar decision four years ago I did what I believed was best for Florida and best for the thousands of children waiting to be adopted by loving parents.
     
    Today, I urge you to do what’s best for Floridians and declare the state will not be challenging Judge Hinkle’s Order or any other orders supporting the rights of all Floridians to marry.
     
    Respectfully,
     
    Charlie Crist...

  13. Tampa Bay GOP big dogs raising $$ for Rick Scott

    Blog

    Many of Tampa Bay top tier Republican money raisers are hosting Sept. 16 fundraiser for Gov. Rick Scott at downtown Tampa's Oxford Exchange. Write a $10,000 check to the Florida GOP and you can attend a VIP reception and get a photo with the governor. A $1,000 check gets you into the general reception

    Chairmen include Beverly Austin, Dab and Roz Doyle, Sr., Dan and Nicole Doyle, Jr., Bill Edwards, Gordon Gillette, Gov. Bob and Mary Jane Martinez, Donald and Erin Phillips, John Ramil, Brent and Debbie Sembler, and Trey and Nina Traviesa. Co-Chairs include Carlos Alfonso, Lee and Deborah Arnold, Tom and Dixie Arthur, and Robert and Nancy Watkins. Hosts include Allison Adams, Charlie Funk, John and Kimberly Kirtley, Rick Michaels, Les and Pam Muma, Chris Sullivan, and Robert Thomas....

    The fundraising invite
  14. 5 things to watch in Charlie Crist vs. Rick Scott

    Blog

    Charlie Crist, the former self-described Ronald Reagan Republican, officially became the Democratic nominee for Florida governor Tuesday, easily beating back a bare-bones primary challenge from former state Sen. Nan Rich of Broward County.

    Likewise, Republican Gov. Rick Scott cruised against two obscure and nearly invisible Republican opponents.

    That's hardly big news considering Rich could not afford a single TV ad and Scott months ago started attacking Crist as the de facto Democratic nominee. The general election for all purposes began with Scott pouring more than $20 million into TV ads that have steadily turned what had been a double-digit Crist lead into a dead-heat race....

  15. Battle royale, at last: Crist vs. Scott

    Blog

    Charlie Crist won his first election as a Democrat on Tuesday night, soundly defeating former state Sen. Nan Rich to become Florida's Democratic nominee for governor.

    "Congratulations! It's a wonderful night!" Crist said as he hugged his running mate, Annette Taddeo, after Rich called Crist to concede the race minutes after the polls closed.

    Crist said the strong showing is a sign that Democrats believe in him despite the fact that he's new to the party....