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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. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Pam Bondi. Just when it seemed her sometimes rocky performance as attorney general might leave her off everybody's list of potentially formidable U.S. Senate candidates in 2016, a PPP survey last week suggested Bondi would be the strongest GOP nominee.

    Loser of the week

    Alvin Brown. The Jacksonville mayor can win a second term, but he had hoped to do it without a runoff. Yes, he came in first in Tuesday's primary, but the last three mayors of Jacksonville won office after finishing in second place....

  2. LGBT anti-discrimination issue complicates Jacksonville mayor's race

    State Roundup

    Guess where you'll find the most gay Floridians? It's not Miami. The Florida metro area with the highest percentage of residents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is actually Jacksonville (4.3 percent), followed by Miami (4.2 percent) and Tampa Bay (4.1 percent), according to Gallup polling.

    So you might think it would be a no-brainer for the Jacksonville Democratic mayor to come out in favor of a proposed human rights ordinance, guaranteeing protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Nope. It's proven to be one of the biggest issues in the widely watched mayoral race, but neither Democratic incumbent Alvin Brown nor challenger Lenny Curry, the former state GOP chairman, have been willing to take a position beyond not-so-boldly declaring their opposition to discrimination in general....

    Attorney General Pam Bondi gives a victory speech to attendees of her party after winning her race on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 in Tampa at TPepin's Hospitality Centre.
  3. Rubio might announce campaign April 13 at Miami's Freedom Tower

    State Roundup

    Marco Rubio has reserved the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami for an undisclosed event April 13 in what appears to be a potential, if not likely, spot for Florida's junior senator to announce his candidacy for president.

    A Rubio adviser stressed nothing has been nailed down for any kind of announcement, but the timing makes sense: Likely presidential candidate Rand Paul is expected to make things official April 7, to be followed by a five-day, five-state announcement tour, so Rubio presumably would not want to share the spotlight during that period....

    Last month, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., addressed the CPAC gathering in National Harbor, Md. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  4. April 13 presidential announcement day for Marco Rubio?

    Blog

    Marco Rubio has reserved the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami for an undisclosed event April 13, which appears to be a potential, if not likely, spot for Florida's junior senator to announce his candidacy for president.

    A Rubio adviser stressed nothing has been nailed down for any kind of announcement, but the timing makes sense: Likely presidential candidate Rand Paul is expected to make his candidacy official on April 7, followed by a five-day, five-state announcement tour, so Rubio presumably would not want to share the spotlight during that period....

  5. Struggling with gay rights in Jacksonville's mayor race

    Blog

    Guess where you'll find the most gay Floridians? Wrong, it's not Miami. The Florida metro area with the highest percentage of residents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is actually Jacksonville (4.3 percent), followed by Miami (4.2 percent) and Tampa Bay (4.1 percent), according to Gallup polling.

    So you might think it would be a no brainer the Jacksonville Democratic mayor to come out in favor of a proposed human rights ordinance, guaranteeing protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Nope. It's proven to be one of the biggest issues in the widely watched mayoral race, but neither Democratic incumbent Alvin Brown nor challenger Lenny Curry, the former state GOP chairman, have been willing to take a position beyond not-so-boldly declaring their opposition to discrimination in general....

  6. Meet Scott Walker, Jeb's biggest threat, who is quietly making inroads in Fla

    Blog

    Scott Walker will likely be on the front page of Florida's biggest newspaper Sunday. From our profiile:

    ...Even in Florida, home turf of 2016 contenders Bush and Marco Rubio, Walker is making inroads. A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Bush leading Walker among likely Republican voters 25 percent to 17 percent, followed by 15 percent for Rubio. Among Florida Republicans describing themselves as "very conservative," Bush actually trails Walker, 23 percent to 19 percent....

  7. Meet Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the conservative threat to Jeb Bush (w/video)

    State Roundup

    CONCORD, N.H. — Once dubbed America's most divisive governor, Wisconsin's Scott Walker may be the biggest threat to the presidential ambitions of Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

    The understated everyman can fill a high school auditorium with guffaws and appreciative smiles merely by explaining how he buys shirts.

    "I go to that Kohl's rack that says it was $29.99 and now it's $19.99. And then I get the Sunday insert out with that little scratch-off, and I take it up to the cash register with my Kohl's credit card. And then I take the mailer that we get because we shop there a lot. And sometimes it's 15 percent or 20 percent off. And, if we're really lucky it's 30 percent off, right hon?" he said recently, momentarily turning away from the crowd of New Hampshire Republican activists toward his wife of 22 years....

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, 47, presents a fresh face in what could be a crowded field.
  8. Rick Scott raised $710k in March and spent $410k

    Blog

    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....

  9. Charlie Crist endorsing Patrick Murphy for Senate

    Blog

    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....

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

    Blog

    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.
    ...

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

    Blog

    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....

  12. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    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....

  13. 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
  14. Here's Rick Scott's award winning anti--Charlie Crist ad

    Blog

    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:

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

    Blog

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

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