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. 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....

  2. 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....

  3. Adam C. Smith column: 5 things to watch in Charlie Crist vs. Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    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....

  4. Democrats plan aggressive push for unity after Florida primary

    State Roundup

    TAMPA — This year the Florida Democratic Party is determined not to be the circular firing squad party.

    Internal dissension and apathy have helped keep Democrats out of the Governor's Mansion for 16 years. So when the primary votes are counted tonight after a particularly low-key Democratic primary for governor, party leaders intend to push aggressively for unity.

    Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m....

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich, right, speaks with Maxine Adler during a Palm Beach Civic Association “Meet your Candidate” event last week in Palm Beach.
  5. Democrats plan post-primary unity rallies

    Blog

    It took weeks for Rod Smith to endorse Jim Davis for governor after their bruising 2006 Democratic primary, and in 2002 Janet Reno did not even concede the gubernatorial primary to Bill McBride for a week. Voting problems in south Florida had left the outcome in doubt.

    This year Democrats are determined not to lose precious time struggling to unite before focusing on the general election. Party leaders are planning a couple ambitious unity rallies on Thursday....

  6. Rep. Paul Ryan promotes book, talks Hillary Rodham Clinton and 2016 in Brandon

    State Roundup

    BRANDON — Republicans need not be cowed by the prospect of taking on Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016, said U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, one of the leading Republican contenders to do just that.

    "She's very formidable. She'll raise a lot money, she has a lot of name ID," the Wisconsin native and former Republican vice presidential nominee said during a stop in Tampa Bay to promote his new book. "But I think Hillary Clinton is very beatable because a Hillary Clinton presidency is basically the same thing as an Obama third term. I don't think she'll be able to shake that."...

    U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s new book, The Way Forward sits on a counter Sunday at the Westfield Brandon Books-A-Million.
  7. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Same-sex marriage advocates. The fifth judge in six weeks — this one a federal judge — declared Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

    Loser of the week

    Rick Scott's research team. The governor's re-election campaign had to pull down a TV ad last week after revelations that one of the fellows touting Gov. Scott had a record for human smuggling. Ouch. In June, the campaign abruptly canceled a fundraiser at the Boca Raton home of a tax evader. Two months before that, Scott's campaign released a Web ad showing the governor happily chatting with a former South Bay city manager currently being prosecuted on grand theft and corruption charges....

  8. Democrats file complaint over robocalls using Crist's GOP campaign clips

    State Roundup

    Those recent robocalls to Democratic voters featuring the voice and the conservative views of former Republican Charlie Crist have prompted Democrats to file a formal complaint with the Florida Elections Commission. Their target is Republican Sen. Tom Lee of Brandon.

    Lee engineered what he said were about 2 million robocalls to voters, using the same calls Crist used in his successful 2006 Republican campaign for governor, in which he called himself a pro-life, Ronald Reagan Republican who opposed same-sex marriage and supported public display of the Ten Commandments — views now starkly at odds with Crist the Democrat. Lee is running the campaign through a political committee called the Conservative for which he raised about $240,000 this year from interests including Disney, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida. There's also a website featuring all of Crist's audio clips at charlieinhisownwords.com....

  9. Dem protesters prepare for Paul Ryan's Fla visit

    Blog

    Republican Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on Friday kicks off a three-day, nine-city Florida tour to hawk his new book, The Way Forward, and, perhaps, to take his to make what could amount to his first Florida campaign swing of a 2016 presidential campaign. Democratic critics are ready.

    The liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change intends to shadow Ryan at each of his stops....

    Paul Ryan and mother Betty, a resident of Lauderdale by the Sea, campaigning in 2012
  10. Who's that big shot Dem campaigning for GOP Fla House candidate?

    Blog

    Whoda thunk you'd see Democratic consultant Steve Schale pounding the pavement in Pinellas County on behalf of Republican state House candidate Chris Latvala? Schale, after all,  is one of the brightest lights in Florida Democratic political circles, having helped Obama win Florida twice and now helping Charlie Crist, try to unseat Gov. Rick Scott. And House District 67 at least on paper should be one of the more competitive districts in Florida, one in which some credible Democrats are running....

    Steve Schale and Chris Latvala
  11. About those scandalous Charlie Crist billboards

    Blog

    The Republican Party of Florida filed a complaint with the the Florida Elections Commission against the Charlie Crist campaign this week for allegedly failing to include the mandatory prominent disclaimers  that tell people who is paying for the ad. Yawn. Seemed like yet another petty complaint that nobody other than a couple partisan operatives cares about.

    To us, the real scandal would be if the Charlie Crist campaign actually spent money to erect big billboards near his hometown where his name ID already is 99 percent. Turns out, the billboard were in-kind donations from W.S. Media Inc. of Sarasota, an outfit connected with chiropractor and longtime Crist ally Gary Kompothecras and Jay Burmer, another longtime Crist friend and political operative who works with Mr. 1-800-Ask-Gary....

    Here's the actual billboard. Bugs Bunny wouldn't be able to read the disclaimer
  12. Fla poll: Rick Scott 44%, Charlie Crist 41%, Adrian Wyllie 4%

    Blog

    The latest Survey USA  robo poll for WFLA-8,shows Rick Scott leading Charlie Crist, but within the 4.2 percent margin of error. From WFLA:

    Gov. Rick Scott has a 3-point lead over Democrat Charlie Crist, heading into the week before the primary election, according to the latest News Channel 8 poll.

    The poll shows Scott with 44 percent of the vote compared with 41 percent for Crist, the former governor now running as a Democrat. Crist takes on former state senator Nan Rich in the primary election August 26, but has focused his campaign against the current governor....

  13. Annette Taddeo raising money in St Pete

    Blog

    Charlie Crist's younger sister Catherine Kennedy will host lt. Gov. candidate Annette Taddeo at her Placido Bayou home in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening. The minimum suggested contribution is $250 to attend the  "Women for Charlie" reception .

  14. Poll: Anxious 50-plus Fla voters favor Rick Scott over Charlie Crist

    Blog

    AARP Florida sponsored a June 26 - July 6 Hart Research Associates/North Star Opinion Research poll  of 1,202 likely voters age 50 and over, including an oversample of 400 Hispanic voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent. The Scott vs. Crist numbers number have likely shifted over the past month -- this survey came before Crist even started airing TV ads - but for comparison sake exit polls in 2010 showed Scott beat Democrat Sink 51 percent to 47 percent among voters at least 50 years old. Here's AARP's release:...

  15. Charlie Crist wantsPresident Obama to campaign for him

    Blog

    With Barack Obama's approval ratings lately barely cracking 40 percent, plenty of Democrats will keep their distance from the president heading into the midterms, just as Alex Sink did she when ran for governor in 2010. Not Charlie Crist, who said today he hopes to be campaigning side by side with the president.

    "I hope so," he said when asked about campaigning with Obama. "I hope everybody does."...