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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

  1. Insiders say Atwater would fare well in Senate race

    State Roundup

    Florida's Republican U.S. Senate primary to replace Marco Rubio has been a humdrum affair featuring three credible but little-known candidates overshadowed by the presidential campaign. But now Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is reconsidering his decision not to run, and in the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll of nearly 160 Florida politicos, more than two thirds predict Atwater will win the nomination....

    Chief financial officer, Jeff Atwater speaks to the media during a pre-legislative news conference on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC104
  2. RNC revving up voter mobilization machine in Fla


    The Republican National Committee is revving up its get out the vote program this weekend at La Feria De La Familia in Tampa. It's part of the GOP's National Month of Action, in which the party is promising to activate 150 field staffers and more than 10,000 volunteers across battleground states.

    "The fact that we are able to hold a national month of action more than a year from the election is a testament to the RNC's dedication and ability to take back the White House in 2016. No other campaign or committee has the data or infrastructure in place to hold a full scale general election test this early in the cycle," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus....

  3. Winner-take-all Florida primary slows parade of presidential candidates

    State Roundup

    It was supposed to assert Florida's dominance in picking the Republican presidential nominee, but a move to push back the primary and award all delegates to the winner has rankled party activists who say it has made candidates wary of the state and could disenfranchise voters.

    "It was a mistake. It's almost taken Florida out of play," said Randy Osborne, chairman of the Marion County Republican Executive Committee, who has been trading messages with other local leaders....

    Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson meets with voters during a campaign stop at the University of New Hampshire Wednesday, Sept. 30 in Durham, N.H. Carson is one of several presidential candidates not campaigning much in Florida. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
  4. Florida Insider Poll: Jeff Atwater would be Senate race game-changer


    Florida's Republican U.S. Senate primary to replace Marco Rubio has been a hum-drum affair featuring three credible but little-known candidates overshadowed by the presidential campaign. But now Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is reconsidering his decision not to run, and in the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll of nearly 160 Florida politicos, more than two thirds predicted Atwater would win the nomination....

  5. Ritual sacrifice, eugenics, and the resignation of a party chairman


    From Brandon Larabee of the News Service of Florida:

    Adrian Wyllie has decided to resign as chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida, he announced Thursday on Facebook, because the rest of the party's executive committee was unwilling to openly oppose Augustus Sol Invictus, the only declared candidate for the party's U.S. Senate nomination.

    According to Wyllie, Invictus --- whose translated name purportedly means "Unconquerable Sun God" --- is a fascist who supports eugenics and is committed to start a second Civil War....

  6. David Jolly: Can we trust Jeff Atwater after he left so many at the altar?


    U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, planned to endorse Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater for U.S. Senate - as did much of the Republican political establishment in Florida - until Atwater on a Saturday in April suddenly pulled the plug on his all-but-announced campaign. Jolly wound up getting in the Senate race himself, and now, six months after ruling it out, Atwater is talking again about running for Senate....

  7. Personnel file: People on the Move


    From our friends at News Service of Florida:

    JOHN HENSLICK AND KELLY RICE have been appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Henslick, of Myakka City, is the owner of Henslick & Associates. Rice, of Webster, is president of Physical Therapy Services of Brooksville Inc and the Rice Cattle Company.

    ANDREW FREY, FRANK FRIONE AND JIM SCOTT have been reappointed by Gov. Rick Scott to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. Frey, of Miami, is the principal of Tecela and serves as executive director of Townhouse Center. Frione, of Boca Raton, is owner and chief executive officer of GFA International Inc. Scott, of Fort Lauderdale, is chairman of Tripp Scott PA and previously served as president of the Florida Senate....

  8. Prediction markets see race as Bush vs. Rubio


    Who's likely to be the Republican presidential nominee? Forget the notoriously unreliable early state and national polls in September and October, says the Jeb Bush campaign. The far more reliable predictors of nominating success at this early stage, senior Bush adviser, David Kochel says, are major endorsements - a sign of viability and organizational strength - and the prediction markets. In all areas Bush has maintained a comfortable lead....

  9. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and Bobby Jindal commit to Fla GOP's Sunshine Summit


    Florida Republican Party Chairman Blaise Ingoglia confirms that Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and Bobby Jindal have committed to attend the party's Nov. 13-14 Sunshine Summit in Orlando.

    "Their participation will help fire up Florida Republicans as we come together before 2016. The Sunshine Summit is a unique event where candidates will share their vision for the future of our nation with the more than 2,500 expected activists and grassroots leaders in one of the most influential primary and general election swing states. We look forward to announcing additional participating candidates as we draw closer to our event,” said GOP Chairman Ingoglia....

  10. Guess which Fla legislators were calling former Walker backers in Iowa for Jeb Bush


    When Scott Walker ended his presidential campaign last week, it set off a scramble among the rest of the field to pick up Walker  supporters. For the Jeb Bush campaign, part of that effort included having a couple Republican Florida state Senators, Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton, phone Iowa state senators with Walker, to tell them about their experience with Jeb Bush's leadership....

  11. Fla Chamber poll: Trump 25%, Rubio 14%, Bush 13%


    A Sept. 16-20 Florida Chamber of Commerce poll finds Donald Trump comfortably leading Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush in Florida, but both Trump and Hillary Cliinton facing deeply negative perceptions. Only 37 percent of likely Florida voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton, while 57 percent have an unfavorable opinion, while 35 percent have a favorable view of Trump and 53 percent unfavorable. Forty eight percent have a favorable view of Jeb Bush, and 39 percent an unfavorable.opinion....

    The Florida Chamber political poll was conducted Sept. 16-20, 2015, and the margin of error is +/- 4.
  12. Marco Rubio draws enthusiastic crowd in the Villages, foreshadows collision with Jeb Bush

    State Roundup

    THE VILLAGES — When Marco Rubio launched his presidential campaign in the spring, a lot of people wondered how he would ever emerge from the shadow of his mentor, Jeb Bush.

    On Monday, as Sen. Rubio campaigned to an overflow crowd in a sprawling Central Florida development loaded with tens of thousands of relatively new Florida Republicans, the more immediate question was how Bush might escape the shadow of Rubio....

    Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks during a political rally at the Villages on Monday.
  13. Marco Rubio's Florida campaign stop foreshadows collision with Jeb Bush


    Marco Rubio, the Republican presidential candidate who lately has the best buzz of anybody in the crowded field, this afternoon campaigns in "Florida's Friendliest Hometown" -- The Villages, 32 square miles in Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties. A big, enthusiastic crowd is almost guaranteed in this Republican stronghold, where Rubio is scheduled to start speaking at 3:45 p.m.

    Today marks one of Rubio's first presidential campaign stops outside of south Florida, and, being Florida, anything he says has to be viewed in the context of Rubio vs. Jeb Bush. The longtime political allies seemed destined for a political collision, particularly when Florida holds its presidential primary March 15 and only one candidate walks away with 99 delegates....

  14. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics


    Winner of the week

    Marco Rubio. He is poised to be the biggest beneficiary of Scott Walker's withdrawal from the GOP primary, continues to steadily gain ground in polls, and apparently is threatening enough for Trump to turn his attacks to Florida's junior senator.

    Loser of the week

    Janet Adkins. The Republican lawmaker from Fernandina Beach was exposed by Politico last week for having privately — and moronically — told GOP activists that Republicans could unseat U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown if enough African-American inmates (barred from voting) were drawn into Brown's new congressional district....

  15. The Buzz: State GOP is banking on "Sunshine Summit" to help coffers

    State Roundup

    Blaise Ingoglia, the state representative from Spring Hill and chairman of Florida's Republican Party, insists his efforts to pressure presidential candidates to show up for a "Sunshine Summit" in November is all about showing respect to grass roots Republicans and ensuring Republicans spend time in a must-win battleground state.

    Don't kid yourself. This is all about money.

    The Florida GOP, despite controlling every lever of power in Tallahassee, faces a potentially serious money crunch because of the growing reliance on independent political committees and mistrust of Ingoglia by other Republican leaders. The governor, Republican Cabinet leaders, and Republicans in the state Senate are raising little or no money for the state party and instead focusing on their own political committees....

    Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida speaks with Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, during the first Republican presidential primary debate, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Aug. 6, 2015. (Eric Thayer/The New York Times)