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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. Sorry Democrats, Florida Insider Poll sees very good year for GOP in 2018

    Blog

    For all the anger and energy apparent among Democrats in Florida since Donald Trump's election, the state's political elites so far expect 2018 to be, yet again, a strong year for Republican candidates.

    Our latest Florida Insider Poll of more than 190 veterans of Florida politics finds nearly three out of four expect Republicans to win their sixth straight gubernatorial election, and also sweep the open seat races for Agriculture Commissioner, Attorney General and Chief Financial Officer....

    Do you expect a Democrat or Republican to win the 2018 governor's race?
  2. The lesson from Georgia election: Recruitment, recruitment, recruitment

    Blog

    Good points about candidate recruitment here from smart guy Steve Schale, as he relives the glory days of 2006:

    ...For Florida readers, here are two markers: At R+8, GA 06 is more Republican than Dennis Ross and Mike Bilirakis' district, and more Republican than Ted Deutch's seat is Democratic. In terms of partisan voting, it is about equally as partisan as Debbie Wasserman Schultz's seat. In other words, to win, literally everything has to be perfect - and even then it's often not enough....

    With Republican Karen Handel's win in George Tuesday, Democrats are zero for four in special elections since Trump's election
  3. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Charter school advocates. Rick Scott signed into a law a controversial education bill that will divert local school district tax dollars to private charter school operators --  a policy we’re sure to hear about in 2018’s campaigns. 

    Loser of the week

    Adam Putnam. Two ominous developments for the 2018 Republican gubernatorial frontrunner: A wealthy donor dropped $500,000 into a new political committee for potential GOP rival, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis; And Virginia’s GOP gubernatorial primary showed how vulnerable establishment Republicans like Putnam seem to be, as heavy favorite Ed Gillespie barely beat a challenger from the Donald Trump wing of the party who focused on protecting Confederate monuments....

  4. Corcoran touts Legislature as more representative

    State Roundup

    Florida's Legislature is more responsive to Floridians and less susceptible to special interest influence than local governments, House Speaker Richard Corcoran asserted to a skeptical and occasionally hostile group of Tampa Bay residents Friday.

    "If you are a special interest or you are somebody that wants to curry favor, it is generally much more difficult in a comparative scale to get something through in the state government that would affect the state than it is the local government," the Pasco County Republican told about 100 people gathered for the weekly Cafe con Tampa breakfast in South Tampa....

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam who's running for Governor of Florida greets his supporters during his campaign rally at the Old Polk County Courthouse in Bartow, Florida on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
  5. Florida lawmaker: All legislators should be armed

    Blog

    William March reports:

    A pro-gun rights Tampa Bay area state legislator, commenting on the Virginia shooting at a congressional baseball practice, said in a forum Friday the shooting shows people should carry guns in public – even at swimming pools or playing softball.

    “We don’t all have armed bodyguards,” Tampa Tiger Bay Club member Elizabeth Corwin told five Tampa-area legislators at the club’s forum, and then asked what they recommend for people playing softball or at swimming pools in public....

  6. Here's what Tim Canova said about taking on Debbie Wasserman Schultz again

    Blog

    From Amy Sherman at the Miami Herald: Tim Canova announced a rematch against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz Thursday at a meeting of the Broward County Democratic progressive caucus.

    After his speech, the Nova Southeastern University law professor took a few questions from the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel about his second campaign, his January Facebook post about DNC staffer Seth Rich who was murdered, and about U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders who endorsed his 2016 bid....

  7. Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran: Tallahassee legislators represent people better than local governments

    Blog

    TAMPA -- Florida's legislators are more responsive to Floridians and less susceptible to special interest influence than local governments, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran asserted to a skeptical and occasionally hostile group of Tampa Bay residents this morning.

    "If you are a special interest or you are somebody that wants to curry favor, it is generally much more difficult in a comparative scale to get something through in the state government that would affect the state than it is the local government," the Pasco County Republican told about 100 people gathered for the weekly Cafe con Tampa breakfast in South Tampa. ...

    Corcoran
  8. Timing could be ideal for Andrew Gillum, but sloppiness threatens to derail him

    Blog

    From this week's column on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum:

    ....So far, Gillum generates considerably more enthusiasm at candidate forums than the other credible candidates — frontrunner Gwen Graham, a former Tallahassee congresswoman and daughter of former Sen. Bob Graham, and businessman Chris King of Winter Park.

    He has won a slew of endorsements and some notable campaign donations. Among them: Billionaire George Soros ($100,000); TV legend Norman Lear, who founded People For The American Way, where Gillum works ($50,000); Jane Fonda; U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, the Democratic U.S. House member representing Broward and Palm Beach counties; St. Petersburg City Council member Lisa Wheeler Bowman; and Democracy for America, the liberal, grassroots-driven political action committee founded more than a decade ago by Howard Dean....

  9. Alcee Hastings: Andrew Gillum is best choice for governor

    Blog

    Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum continues to lap the Democratic gubernatorial field in endorsements, with U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings the latest significant name to step up for Gillum. Hastings, the popular, 13-term congressman representing Palm Beach and Broward counties, is the first member of Florida's congressional delegation to endorse in the Democratic primary that also includes former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, Winter Park businessman Chris King and potentially a couple multi-millionaire self-funders, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Orlando area lawyer John Morgan....

  10. GOP gov contender Jack Latvala courting gay Republicans

    Blog

    Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater, exploring a run for governor, will headline a reception in Orlando next week with gay Republicans.

    "Republican Senator Latvala is considering a run for Governor. This is a meet and greet opportunity for Republicans in the LGBT community to hear from the Senator, ask questions and get to know him. This is not a fundraiser," says the invite for the June 21 Citrus Club event hosted by Rusty Roberts, a longtime Latvala friend,former Pinellas resident and former chief of staff to U.S. Rep John Mica; Republican consultant and former Christian Coalition leader John Dowless; and business consultant Nayte Carrick....

    Sen. Jack Latvala
  11. On anniversary of Pulse massacre Adam Putnam touts Florida's increased access to concealed weapons

    Blog

    Republican gubernatoirial candidate Adam Putnam has long touted Florida's status as the number one state for concealed weapons permits and his efforts to make that system more efficient for consumers. But doing so the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, the worst mass shooting in America's history, may raise some eyebrows.

    "You can run government like a business and save money and deliver value to the people who make government possible through your hard-earned tax dollars," Putnam said in Bradenton today, as seen on this video the Democratic group American Bridge found on Putnam's Facebook page. "And we've proven that. And Florida is number one in concealed weapons license holders - people lawfully exercising their Second Amendment rights."...

  12. Most underrated gov candidate could be Chris King

    Blog

    Chris King, a 38-year-old lawyer, bleeding-heart businessman, Harvard graduate and Jesus-loving philanthropist, by all accounts is gifted and creative. But it’s not clear he fully grasps how nuts it is to throw much of his family’s nest egg into a campaign for Florida governor when nobody knows who he is and he has virtually no experience in government or campaigns.

    “People might confuse his face for just another businessman, but Chris King’s not afraid to tackle really big problems. The guy doesn’t get fazed,” said Gio Continenza, who is a rising sophomore at Wake Forest University thanks to a program King established to help low-income, high-performing high schoolers attend elite colleges....

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King gives a campaign speech at the Florida Young Democrats Convention in Tampa on May 20.
  13. Meet Chris King, the Christian, liberal longshot running for Florida governor

    State Roundup

    WINTER PARK — Chris King, a 38-year-old lawyer, bleeding-heart businessman, Harvard graduate and Jesus-loving philanthropist, by all accounts is gifted and creative. But it's not clear he fully grasps how nuts it is to throw much of his family's nest egg into a campaign for Florida governor when nobody knows who he is and he has virtually no experience in government or campaigns.

    "People might confuse his face for just another businessman, but Chris King's not afraid to tackle really big problems. The guy doesn't get fazed," said Gio Continenza, who is a rising sophomore at Wake Forest University thanks to a program King established to help low-income, high-performing high schoolers attend elite colleges....

    Wallace Mazon meets King at the Democrats event. He backs  Andrew Gillum but said King “practices what he preaches.’’
  14. Andrew Gillum seems to really, really dislike Gwen Graham's last name

    Blog

    "I don't have a famous last name and I cannot stroke my own check to become the next governor of the state of Florida," declared Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew at a Tallahassee Tiger Bay luncheon Thursday. It was a not-so-veiled shot at Democratic rival Gwen Graham, the daughter of a popular former governor and senator, Bob Graham, and at mega rich potential Democratic rivals John Morgan and Philip Levine....

  15. Staff turmoil notwithstanding, Adam Putnam campaign is off to strong start

    Blog

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam's 10-day bus tour/campaign kick off may have been partly overshadowed by a sudden campaign shakeup that saw his campaign manager exit, but the campaign still has valid reasons to tout a strong start to the formal campaign.

    From a Putnam release on his first month:

    Finance Numbers

    Adam Putnam has collected more than $2.1 million in the first month since he filed to run for Governor of Florida, with more than $1.1 million in hard dollar contributions to the Adam Putnam for Governor campaign. The contributions to the campaign came from 2,203 supporters representing all 67 counties in Florida. More than 1,714 supporters contributed under $500.

    $13.4 Million Collected to Date for the Campaign and PC (Combined)
    $10 Million Cash on Hand at the Campaign and PC (Combined)
    $2.1 Million Collected in May 2017 for the Campaign and PC (Combined)
    $1.1 Million Collected in May 2017 for the Campaign
    2,203 Contributors to the Campaign
    1,714 Contributed <$500 to the Campaign
    All 67 Counties Contributed to the Campaign

    Grassroots Numbers

    Not only is the campaign off to a strong financial start, but it has also seen impressive grassroots support in the first month since Putnam announced his run for Governor. Following is a summary of numbers representing Putnam's announcement on May 10 and statewide bus tour.

    2,063 Supporters in Bartow on May 10
    190 Supporters at Each Bus Tour Stop on Average
    632 Supporters at Suwannee Valley BBQ in O'Brien on May 20
    2,161 Miles Traveled on Bus Tour
    1,024 Volunteers Signed Up
    27 Cities Visited
    10 Days on the Bus Tour

    The most important number is Florida First!

    **Note: These numbers are as of 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31. Contributions are still being processed....

    Adam Putnam has collected more than $2.1 million in the first month since he filed to run for governor.