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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 year in Fla politics

    Blog

    We received a lot of strong nominations for winner and loser of the year in Florida politics — everyone from David Jolly, elected to Congress in a special election that most expected Alex Sink to win, to Gwen Graham, who unseated Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland despite a brutal climate for Democrats.

    Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her hand-picked Florida Democratic Party chairwoman, Allison Tant, could be the most logical losers of 2014 given the drubbing Democrats took. But we tend to look more forward than backward and view each year's winners and losers more in the context of how the past year will affect politics in the coming year....

    Pam and Jeb
  2. The Buzz: 2014's winner and loser in Florida politics

    State Roundup

    We received a lot of strong nominations for winner and loser of the year in Florida politics — everyone from David Jolly, elected to Congress in a special election that most expected Alex Sink to win, to Gwen Graham, who unseated Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland despite a brutal climate for Democrats.

    Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her hand-picked Florida Democratic Party chairwoman, Allison Tant, could be the most logical losers of 2014 given the drubbing Democrats took. But we tend to look more forward than backward and view each year's winners and losers more in the context of how the past year will affect politics in the coming year....

    Jeb Bush hands out items for food baskets at the Latin American Chamber of Commerce’s Little Havana office on Dec. 17 in Miami.
  3. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Kathy Castor. No elected leader in Florida has pushed harder for normalizing relations with Cuba than Tampa's Democratic congresswoman. Others may see that position as too risky for a politician in Florida, but Castor saw a no-brainer potential economic boon for Tampa Bay and Florida, and she was persuasive at the White House.

    Loser of the week...

  4. The Buzz: Political insiders think Marco Rubio might run for governor

    State Roundup

    It's not an ideal pitch for someone running for the Republican nomination to succeed Barack Obama in the White House: "Elect me, a charismatic, young first-term U.S. senator with no executive experience, but a great speaker!"

    No, that's not exactly how Sen. Marco Rubio sells himself, but the similarity between his resume and Obama's has a lot of prominent Republicans questioning whether the time is right for Rubio, 43, to run for president. It may also be why even before Jeb Bush took a big step toward running for president, so many politicos in Tallahassee have been speculating not about Rubio's presidential prospects in 2016, but about his gubernatorial prospects in 2018....

    Is a run for governor in Marco Rubio's future?
  5. How Jeb could snuff out Rubio's presidential hopes: 'We love Marco. We've loved Jeb longer'

    Blog

    From Alex Leary and me:

    Marco Rubio has a big Jeb Bush problem.

    More than a decade after Bush helped cultivate Rubio as a star in the Florida Legislature — literally giving him a sword as a symbol of maintaining the conservative flame — the two are on an awkward collision course over running for president in 2016.

    Former Gov. Bush crushed speculation he would not pursue a campaign by announcing Tuesday that he is "actively" exploring a run and setting up a political committee that will help him travel the country and fill out a political team. He huddled with donors in Miami on Wednesday then did the same in Chicago on Friday....

      Rep. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, holds a sword presented to him by Gov. Jeb Bush, right, during ceremonies designating Rubio as the next Speaker of the House, on Sept. 13, 2005, in Tallahassee. Rubio's term begins in 2006
  6. If Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio both run for president, Florida loyalty belongs to Bush

    State Roundup

    Marco Rubio has a big Jeb Bush problem.

    More than a decade after Bush helped cultivate Rubio as a star in the Florida Legislature — literally giving him a sword as a symbol of maintaining the conservative flame — the two are on an awkward collision course over running for president in 2016.

    Former Gov. Bush crushed speculation he would not pursue a campaign by announcing Tuesday that he is "actively" exploring a run and setting up a political committee that will help him travel the country and fill out a political team. He huddled with donors in Miami on Wednesday then did the same in Chicago on Friday....

    Marco Rubio is greeted by Jeb Bush during an Election Night celebration at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables on Nov. 2, 2010. Rubio was elected to the U.S. Senate.
  7. Political Connections Sun: Charlie Crist campaign manager on what he would do differently

    Blog

    Omar Khan, the former Obama administration official and pride of USF who led Charlie Crist's gubernatorial campaign, appears Sunday on Political Connections on Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay. The full interview can be seen at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday, but here's a clip.

  8. Move over Miami, Tampa now has big say on Cuba policy too

    Blog

    Turn on cable TV and you won't have to wait long to see images of Cuban exiles outside the Versailles restaurant in Miami denouncing President Obama for restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba. It's easy for anyone outside of Florida, or even in most of Florida, to assume those images reflect Florida as a whole.

    They don't.

    Tampa's deep ties to Cuba go back many generations, at least to the days when the Apostle of Cuban Independence, Jose Marti, was in Yboir City talking up the Cuban revolution in the late 19th century. Many Cuban-Americans settled in Tampa before the 1959 revolution and are less consumed with the rise of Castro than exiles in south Florida....

    Kathy Castor
  9. Fla Insider Poll: Those who know them best say Marco Rubio can't compete w Jeb Bush

    Blog

    Marco Rubio says Jeb Bush's move toward a presidential run will have no effect on his own presidential deliberations. But among more than 150 savvy political pros who know Rubio, Bush, and Florida politics best the answer is clear: Bush's candidacy presents a nearly insurmountable obstacle to Sen. Rubio.

    Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed for the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll said Rubio would be unable to raise enough money to mount a competitive campaign if Jeb Bush was also running. Only a quarter of them predict Rubio will actually run now that Bush is poised to do so....

    Jeb Bush overshadows Marco Rubio in Florida
  10. Winners and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Loser of the week

    Jeb Bush. Bloomberg Businessweek delved into Bush's sideline as a budding private equity mogul, depicting him as another budding Mitt Romney. The piece raised tough questions about Bush's vulnerabilities as a candidate as well as his readiness to run.

    Winners of the week

    Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney. Any hint that Jeb Bush may not pull the trigger on a presidential bid is good news for potential contenders Rubio and Romney....

  11. THE BUZZ: Big losses in North Florida in the governor's race catch the attention of Democrat strategists

    News

    As Florida Democrats continue their perennial soul searching over how they lost another critical election, most of the talk from the Charlie Crist camp has been about how Rick Scott and the Republicans outspent them by nearly two-to-one.

    "I worry the lesson some people have is that it all came down to money and almost nothing else," said former state Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith of Alachua, who is quick to say Crist ran a strong campaign and "might have been the strongest" candidate Democrats could have fielded....

    FILE - This Jan. 14, 2014 file photo shows former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush talking about education reform during a forum in Nashville, Tenn. More than five years after governors from both major parties began a mostly quiet effort to set new standards in American schools, the so-called Common Core initiative has morphed into a political tempest that fuels division among Republicans. Bush hails Common Core as a way to improve student performance and, over the long term, competitiveness of American workers. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File) WX204
  12. Imagine a no-drama presidential primary in Fla

    Blog

    When it comes to picking the Republican nominee for president of the United States, the Florida GOP carved a special role for itself in the last two presidential campaigns: Self-entitled scofflaw.

    Sunshine State Republican elected leaders, convinced that America's biggest and most diverse battleground state should have an outsized voice in selecting the nominee, unapologetically blew up their national party's carefully crafted primary schedules by setting Florida's primary earlier than allowed in 2008 and 2012....

    2008 button promoting an early Florida primary
  13. Florida GOP unlikely to flout RNC rules on 2016's presidential primary

    State Roundup

    When it comes to picking the Republican nominee for president of the United States, the Florida GOP carved a special role for itself in the past two presidential campaigns: self-entitled scofflaw.

    The Sunshine State's Republican elected leaders, convinced that America's biggest and most diverse battleground state should have an outsized voice in selecting the nominee, unapologetically blew up their national party's carefully crafted primary schedules by setting Florida's primary earlier than allowed in 2008 and 2012....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to decide early next year if he will run for president in 2016.
  14. Video: Why Eric Miller is best candidate to chair Fla GOP

    Blog

    We've shared clips of Kurt Kelly making his case to be elected chairman of the Republican Party of Florida next month, and clips of Blaise Ingoglia making his case. Today, it's Eric Miller of Martin County, who learned this year challenged the governor's hand-picked candidate, Leslie Dougher, and lost a surprisingly close contest - 69-106 - without even running a campaign....

  15. Meet the first donors to Rick Scott's inauguration

    Blog

    The Florida GOP says it will release the the names of donors to Gov. Rick Scott's inauguration activities weekly. Here's the first batch:
        .
    12/9/2014
        US Sugar Corporation: $25,000
        Allstate Insurance Company: $5,000

    12/11/2014
        FCCI Services, Inc of Sarasota: $25,000...