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

  1. Political Connections Sun: Jack Latvala's admiration for Rick Scott, Adam Hollingsworth

    Blog

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, is arguably the leading moderate Republican in Tallahassee, and at first blush, not the most likely candidate to be a top legislative ally of Gov. Rick Scott. But the maverick Pinellas legislator who never hesitated to butt heads with Gov. Jeb Bush has emerged as one of Scott's most vocal cheerleaders.

    Latvala appears Sunday on Political Connections on Bay News 9, gushing about Gov. Scott and Scott's controversial chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth. The praise appears genuine, but it also happens to be a wise approach as veto season approaches....

  2. Trump's mention of Jeb Bush draws boos at conservative confab

    Blog

    From The Hill:

    ,,,,Speaking at the New Hampshire Freedom Summit, a gathering of conservative activists and figures organized by Americans for Prosperity and Citizens United, billionaire Donald Trump said Bush’s recent comments on immigrants coming to the U.S. as an “act of love” were “out there.”

    “You know, I heard Jeb Bush the other day,” he said, with quiet boos and angry murmurs erupting from the crowd at the mention of Bush’s name.

    “And he was talking about people that come into this country illegally, they do it for love,” he continued, with the boos growing louder.......

  3. Winner/Loser of the week in Florida Politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    David Jolly. The rookie Republican U.S. representative for Pinellas County kept a campaign promise to vote against his leadership's budget proposal; in a Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll, 3 out of 4 said Alex Sink would be unwise to challenge Jolly again in November; and national Democrats have no strong plan B should Sink take a pass.

    Loser of the week...

  4. Insiders predict Jeb Bush will run for president in 2016

    State Roundup

    Jeb Bush says he hasn't made up his mind about running for president in 2016, but the overwhelming verdict from 121 of Florida's most plugged-in politicos is that Bush ultimately will take the plunge.

    Seventy-four percent of the participants in the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider poll predict Bush will enter the race for president in 2016, while only 33 percent expect that Sen. Marco Rubio will....

    Experts say Jeb Bush has the look of a future candidate.
  5. Perspective: Dear Alex Sink, don't run before 2016

    Perspective

    Dear Alex Sink,

    We read the other day that you are still pondering whether to run against David Jolly again in Congressional District 13, after a narrow loss to the Republican newcomer in last month's special election. You know, of course, that the filing deadline is less than a month away and until you decide, the field of potentially strong Democrats — actually, that field doesn't exist, so let's just say the field of potential Democratic challengers — is frozen out....

  6. Political Connections: Dudley says utilities 'own' Legislature

    Blog

    State Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, appears Sunday on Political Connections on Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay, discussing his likely campaign against Bill Young Jr., and his efforts to give consumers a leg up against utility companies. Political Connections airs at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.. Here's a clip.

  7. Fla Insider Poll: Jeb Bush likely running in '16, not Marco Rubio

    Blog

    Jeb Bush says he hasn't made up his mind about running for president in 2016, but the overwhelming verdict from 120 of Florida's most plugged in politicos is that Bush ultimately will take the plunge.

    Seventy four percent of the participants in our latest Tampa Bay Times Political Insider poll predict Bush will run in 2016, while only 33 percent expect that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will run for president in 2016....

    Florida Insider Poll
  8. Alex Sink says no to 2016

    Blog

    We suggested yesterday that Alex Sink would be wise to forget about taking on David Jolly again in November and instead wait until 2016. Well, she didn't like that suggestion, according to Wake Forest University's student newspaper, Old, Gold & Black:...

  9. Bettina Inclan joins Mercury Florida

    Blog

    Bettina Inclan Agen, the savvy Miami native and former adviser to Rick Scott, the NRCC, and Mitt Romney, has signed on as a senior vice president for the public strategy group Mercury Florida. From a release:

    “Bettina possesses a rare combination of communications experience, coalition building and regional ties that will be a great asset to Mercury Florida as we continue to build the state’s most talented team of high stakes public affairs professionals,” said Mercury CEO and founding partner Kieran Mahoney.  “Bettina has proven her ability to execute strategic and high-impact communications and political strategies to diverse demographics. We are excited to add Bettina’s wealth of experience to our growing team.” ...

  10. Unsolicited advice for Alex Sink

    Blog

    Dear Alex Sink,

    We read the other day that you are still pondering whether to run against David Jolly again in Congressional District 13, after a narrow loss to the Republican newcomer in last month's special election. You know, of course that the filing deadline is less than a month away and until you decide, the field of potentially strong Democrats - actually, that field doesn't exist, so let's just say the field of potential Democratic challengers - is frozen out....

  11. PPP poll: Charlie Crist 49%, Rick Scott 42

    Blog

    A newly released Public Policy Polling poll for the liberal group MoveOn.org finds Charlie Crist beating Republican Gov. Rick Scott 49 percent to 42 percent. That's an oddly big shift toward Crist, who barely led Scott, 43 percent to 41, in a January PPP survey.

    This latest poll shows 58 percent of voters favor the state accepting federal money to expand Medicaid expansion, and 42 percent said Crist's support for accepting that money makes them more likely to support the likely Democratic nominee....

  12. "(Jeb) sounds like a candidate to me"

    Blog

    From the New York Times report on Jeb Bush's speech at the George Bush Presidential Library:...

    “He sounds like a candidate to me,” said Joe Hagin, who worked in the White House for both President Bushes. “People are standing back and saying the country is ready for somebody who’s serious.”

    Andrew H. Card Jr., who likewise worked in both administrations, including as George W. Bush’s chief of staff, said Republicans should draft Jeb. “If Jeb Bush doesn’t run for president, shame on us,” he said. “He is demonstrating the kind of leadership we desperately need both in our party and in our nation.”......

  13. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Lizbeth Benacquisto. In a tough GOP primary for a southwest Florida congressional seat, the state senator from Fort Myers last week drew Sarah Palin to headline a fundraiser. Palin then went on Fox News to gush over Benacquisto to Sean Hannity.

    Loser of the week

    Ken Detzner. The secretary of state had already earned loads of scorn from local elections officials for ham-fisted efforts to remove voters from Florida's voter rolls. Last week, a federal appeals court dinged his reputation further, ruling that his office violated the law by launching the mistake-prone effort so close to the 2012 election....

  14. Reminded of narrow win, Rep. David Jolly calls letter writer

    State Roundup

    Fresh off a close election win, some elected officials might not appreciate being reminded about how nearly half the voters preferred someone else. On March 16, U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, saw just such a letter to the editor of the Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg resident Scott Stewart, who noted that Jolly beat Democrat Alex Sink 48 percent to 47 percent....

  15. Rick Scott raising bucks in Tampa - Dems welcome!

    Blog

    One of the more noteworthy things we've heard about Rick Scott's Tampa fundraiser this evening at the Bayshore Boulevard home of Gary and Margo Harrod is how many ardent Democrats received invitations.

    The general reception is $1,000 per person and the 5 p.m. VIP photo opp reception is $10,000 per person, with funds for to his campaign and to the state GOP. The host list: Tom Arthur, Al Austin, Dick Beard, Gary Harod, Trey Traviesa, Rick Michaels, Brent Sembler, Ambassador Mel Sembler, Robert & Nancy Watkins....