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Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor

Adam C. Smith

The Washington Post calls Political Editor Adam Smith a top political writer in Florida, and the Columbia Journalism Review has called him one of the top 10 political writers in America. He focuses on state and national politics, and is the creator of the award-winning Florida politics blog, The Buzz. Smith has been with the Times since 1992 and has covered local and state government, as well as general assignment and investigative beats. Smith grew up in New York City, graduated Kenyon College in Ohio, and when he's not chasing politicians, he tries to keep up with his wife, three kids and hound dog.

Phone: (727) 893-8241

Email: asmith@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @AdamSmithTimes

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  1. Poll: Sorry Marco, the GOP super stars of Fla are Rick Scott and Donald Trump

    Blog

    A newly released poll of Republican primary voters in Florida provides a healthy reminder to politicos inside the Tallahassee bubble that perceptions in the real world are very different from those in and around the Capitol. And to the legislative leaders mulling a run for governor, the Associated Industries of Florida poll should be humbling: You're a nobody outside Tally. 

    What's it show? That among Republican primary voters, Rick Scott and Donald Trump are rock stars, with 81 percent of Republicans approving of both the president's and the governor's  job performance....

    Scott and Trump took a selfie at Trump Tower in November
  2. Tampa Bay Democrats follow tea party playbook to take on Trump era

    Blog

    From Tony Marrero:

    The married couple stood on the sidewalk in front of the gleaming high rise, clutching pink posters as traffic zoomed by on West Kennedy Boulevard.

    It was Valentine's Day, and Andrea Beley and Gaston Naranjo of Tampa had joined about 150 other demonstrators to send a message to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. This day, the group was largely focused on getting Rubio to hold a town hall meeting....

    Sandra Duenas joined about 150 protesters from a variety of local groups for a demonstration Tuesday in front of the Tampa district office of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on West Kennedy Blvd. Groups challenging President Trump have coalesced, locally and nationwide, through a how-to manual titled "The Indivisible Guide.
  3. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Andrew Gillum. The little-known 37-year-old mayor of Tallahassee may seem like a longshot for governor, but as the crowd of white Democrats looking at running grows (Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Orlando businessman Chris King, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, lawyer John Morgan of Orlando, among them) the odds of anAfrican-American candidate winning the primary where 30 percent of the voters are black seems not so bleak....

  4. Insiders predict Scott's pick for CFO successor

    State Roundup

    Whom will Gov. Rick Scott appoint as chief financial officer to succeed Jeff Atwater as he steps down for a job at Florida Atlantic University? We turned to our trusty Florida Insiders for their predictions and the more than 170 politicos were all over the map.

    Results of the unscientific Florida Insider Poll (rounded to nearest whole number): Lakewood Ranch developer and former legislator Pat Neal, 22 percent; Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera, 15 percent; former state Rep. Tom Grady of Naples, 15 percent; state Rep. Joe Gruters of Sarasota, 12 percent; state Sen. Tom Lee of Brandon, 11 percent; Other, 8 percent; Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, 7 percent; state Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater, 6 percent; former Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford of Wesley Chapel, 4 percent; state Sen. Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, 1 percent; Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, 1 percent....

    Tallahassee, Florida, Mayor Andrew Gillum speaks during day Three of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
  5. A billionaire for Florida governor?

    Blog

    Add another potentially game-changing name to the prospective Democratic candidates for governor in 2018. Billionaire Palm Beach resident and former U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene.

    "I've been approached by a lot of people, and I've had conversations with people that have approached me," said Greene, who lost the 2010 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate to Kendrick Meek after spending about $23 million of his own money....

    Jeff Greene
  6. Will Bob Buckhorn run for governor? Doubts growing

    Blog

    Which of the following Democrats does not appear poised to run for Florida governor?

    A) Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, who addressed Polk County Democratic activists Saturday, is paying for online ads about her potential run for governor, and Wednesday blasted Gov. Rick Scott on Twitter over his administration losing a lawsuit about water use.

    B) Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who on Wednesday held a series of meetings with Democratic activists in Jacksonville, hailed Jacksonville's new human rights ordinance on Twitter and on Monday had lunch with the head of the influential SEIU union....

    Buckhorn
  7. Will Bob Buckhorn run for Florida governor? Doubts growing

    State Roundup

    Which of the following Democrats does not appear poised to run for Florida governor?

    A) Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, who addressed Polk County Democratic activists Saturday, is paying for online ads about her potential run for governor, and Wednesday blasted Gov. Rick Scott on Twitter over his administration losing a lawsuit about water use.

    B) Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who on Wednesday held a series of meetings with Democratic activists in Jacksonville, hailed Jacksonville's new human rights ordinance on Twitter and on Monday had lunch with the head of the influential SEIU union....

    Assistant State Attorney Gordon Oldham IV of the Sixth Judicial Circuit takes a selfie with John Morgan after Morgan spoke at the Tiger Bay luncheon at St Petersburg Yacht Club on Oct. 8, 2014. (CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times)
  8. Republicans mock Charlie Crist as a boozer

    Blog

    The big-hearted folks at the National Republican Congressional Committee today delivered a gift box to U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg. It included a bottle of Finlandia vodka - a reference to Politico report that he was spotted drinking Finlandia and OJ on an afternoon flight to Washington earlier this month - and a stop watch - since he missed one of his first votes this year because he mistimed his walk to the House floor. (Background here)...

    In September, the Pinellas GOP sent out a photo of Charlie Crist buying liquor, which it said was snapped at 9:20 a.m. on a weekday.
  9. Florida Insider Poll: John Morgan would be strongest Democratic nominee for governor

    Blog

    Unpredictable, politically incorrect, pugnacious, and very, very rich. Yes, it sounds like President Donald Trump, but it also describes personal injury lawyer John Morgan, who is mulling a run for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018. And among more than 170 of the most experienced and plugged in Florida politicos, a plurality thinks the medical marijuana and higher minimum wage advocate well known for his ubiquitous TV ads would be the Democrats' strongest candidate, with former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham a close second....

    Personal injury lawyer John Morgan is mulling a run for governor in 2018.
  10. Florida Democrats announce Janet Reno Grant panel

    Blog

    From a release: Tallahassee — Today, the Florida Democratic Party announced the seven panelists who will oversee the review of applications for the 2017 Janet Reno Challenge Grant.

    The grant will distribute ten $5,000 and twenty $2,500 merit-based awards to small and medium-sized county Democratic parties. The goal of the Challenge Grant is to immediately provide small and medium-sized counties, clubs and caucuses, a boost of funds to begin the new mission of turning the FDP into a year-round grassroots organizing machine....

  11. Florida Insider Poll: And the next CFO is...

    Blog

    Who will Rick Scott appoint as chief financial officer to succeed Jeff Atwater as he steps down for a job at Florida Atlantic University? We turned to our trusty Florida Insiders for their predictions and the more than 170 politicos participating in the latest Florida Insider Poll were all over the map/

    Results of the unscientific survey (Rounded to nearest whole number):

    Pat Neal 22%
    Carlos Lopez-Cantera 15%
    Tom Grady 15%
    Joe Gruters 12%
    Tom Lee 11 %
    Other: 8%
    Lenny Curry 7%
    Jack Latvala 6%
    Will Weatherford 4%
    Jeff Brandes 1%
    Teresa Jacobs 1%...

    A survey of Florida's savviest politicos
  12. Another serious contender emerges for governor in 2018

    Blog

    Christopher King, a 38-year-old housing investor from the Orlando area, is exploring a run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2018 and sounds more likely to run than not. The President and CEO of Winter Park-based Elevation Financial Group has been interviewing with potential campaign staffers and we hear has all but lined up several top tier consultants, including Obama alums Larry Grisolano of AKPD Message and Media and Jeremy Bird of 270 Strategies....

    Christopher King
  13. PolitiFact: Is Visit Florida spending a waste?

    Blog

    PoliFact Florida looks at Richard Corcan's arguments against funding Visit Florida:

    ...Based on Corcoran's numbers, between 2011 to 2015, Visit Florida funding increased from $34 million to $74 million, or a roughly 117 percent change increase. In that same time, the number of visitors only showed a 22 percent increase.

    Experts said annual counts aren't the only metric used to determine the success of a marketing investment....

  14. The Buzz: Baker may run against Kriseman for mayor; residents to vote on Al Lang Stadium expansion

    Local

    Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker still may be flirting with a run for governor — and he has talked to Gov. Rick Scott about an attorney general appointment — but increasingly politicos around Tampa Bay see Baker as moving toward taking on current Mayor Rick Kriseman on Aug. 29.

    Baker wouldn't talk to us, and we've heard nobody suggest it's a done deal. But Kriseman assumes it's more likely than not. The mayor raised $200,000 in the first month since he announced his re-election kickoff and will need to maintain strong money-raising if Baker does jump in. St. Pete's mayor from 2001 to 2010 is the toughest candidate Kriseman could face....

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks about his budget proposals during a pre-legislative news conference, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC101
  15. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Rick Scott. The governor will be able to appoint the next Republican nominees for CFO and, probably for attorney general, after current CFO Jeff Atwater steps down for Florida Atlantic University gig, and Attorney General Pam Bondi, probably, moves to a Trump administration gig. That’s a huge gift for a likely Senate candidate to be able to hand-pick people with whom to share the ballot....