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. 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....

  2. 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’s team is focusing on precise numbers.
  3. 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...

  4. 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
  5. 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....

  6. 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....

  7. 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....

  8. 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.
  9. 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....

  10. 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.
  11. 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....

  12. 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....

  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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 billboard image provided by the Crist campaign, showing a disclaimer in the lower right