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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. Key unanswered questions about Ron DeSantis

    State Roundup

    Donald Trump's favorite candidate for Florida governor, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, finally made his candidacy official on Friday. With super-wealthy backers, an ideal bio that includes military service and Ivy League schools, and an arch-conservative record, he stands to upend the already unpredictable GOP primary featuring Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who is expected to announce he's running after the session ends in early March. ...

  2. Florida Insiders assess the #MeToo, post-Jack Latvala era in Tallahassee

    Perspective

    Infidelity. Snooping private investigators. Big money. Conflicting political ambitions. Sexual harassment. The #MeToo movement. Donald Trump. Paranoia. And the interests of 20 million Floridians.

    With these issues looming over Florida's 2018 legislative session — which could be the most volatile and noxious we've seen in ages — we turned to more than 170 of Florida's most plugged-in political experts for their take on the agendas, personalities and atmosphere that will shape the session....

  3. The Buzz: Florida's political winners and losers of the year

    State Roundup

    Heading into the mother of all Florida election years, it's time to bid 2017 goodbye with our year-end list of winners and losers in Florida politics.

    A strong case could be made that Florida voters were the chief losers, given all that we've learned about our legislature: State senators hitting on and sleeping with lobbyists (and others) — or turning a blind eye as their colleagues do. State House leaders spending obscene amounts of special interest money on elite restaurants, cigars, posh resorts. Lawmakers drinking behind closed doors....

  4. In attorney general bid, Ryan Torrens pushes new method for fighting opioids

    State Roundup

    Ryan Torrens isn't ashamed to admit that he's a recovering alcoholic.

    The 32-year-old Tampa attorney thinks that kind of perspective is what's needed in order to understand and get a handle on the opioid epidemic in Florida, or what Torrens likes to call the "addiction epidemic."

    Torrens is the only Democrat running for attorney general in 2018, while four Republicans have declared....

  5. Republicans still winning at fundraising

    State Roundup

    Democrats running for Florida governor may be thankful for Donald Trump energizing their party activists and turning off swing voters, but their Republican gubernatorial rivals are still crushing them in fundraising. Money is crucial in a state where it costs more than $1 million a week to regularly air TV ads statewide.

    Here's the latest rundown for November:

    Republicans

    Adam Putnam continued to blow away the field with another strong fundraising month. The Republican frontrunner brought in about $683,000 more in monetary contributions than he spent between his campaign and political committee. The agriculture commissioner will have a substantial war chest — $15 million and counting — that will be tough for anyone to compete with come fall 2018....

  6. From the archives: Rubio's aide spent lavishly on party credit cards like his boss

    News

    This article was originally published in March 2010.

    Days before he was sworn in as speaker of the Florida House, Marco Rubio and his top deputies hopped on a charter plane to Washington, checked into a $600-a-night hotel hosting a Republican Party conference and hired a chauffeur to squire them around the city.

    The costs were charged to the state party-issued credit card belonging to Rubio's chief of staff, Richard Corcoran, a Republican operative who had recently been transferred to the state payroll. During the five months of his $175,000-a-year job in Rubio's office, Corcoran continued spending tens of thousands of dollars in party donations for a slew of expenses, including dinners with his boss, personalized chairs for Republican leaders and $4,600 for electronics, according to American Express statements obtained by the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald. ...

  7. Richard Corcoran really, really loves Donald Trump

    State Roundup

    Even in the home state of former presidential aspirants Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, few Republican leaders in 2016 were more vocal in their criticism of Donald Trump than Richard Corcoran, the Florida House speaker.

    "What birthed the phenomenon of a candidate who in all definition of the word is running a quasi-repugnant campaign that is baseless? You have a candidate who has flip-flopped on every issue,'' the Land O'Lakes Republican told a Florida Chamber of Commerce gathering in January 2016....

  8. Florida Democrats mostly quiet as John Conyers faces calls to resign

    State Roundup

    Democratic U.S. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan is facing mounting allegations of sexual harassment and growing calls — including one from Nancy Pelosi on Thursday — that he resign the seat he has held since the 1960s.

    So what do Florida Democrats think? We've reached out to the 11 House members and Sen. Bill Nelson. The reaction ? Near silence.

    This stands in contrast to general Democratic outrage about allegations facing Donald Trump, Roy Moore and others....

    Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)
  9. Mar-a-Lago visits a blessing and a curse

    News

    WASHINGTON — After pardoning a turkey, President Donald Trump got down to his real Thanksgiving tradition: a visit to Mar-a-Lago.

    On Wednesday afternoon, the president and first lady Melania Trump departed for Palm Beach, marking the return of regular visits to Mar-a-Lago.

    The trips, which will likely last through the spring, are seen as a blessing and a curse for the area as security tightens, roads are closed and protests are staged....

    this is an icon for the democratic party, to be used in sunday perspective
  10. Latvala's accusers remain anonymous

    State Roundup

    As women across the country come forward and publicly call out sexual harassers, accusers in the Sunshine State have remained in the shade.

    At least six women have alleged that they are victims of sexual harassment by state Sen. Jack Latvala, the Clearwater Republican who stepped down as head of the budget committee until a Senate investigation is complete. The women agreed to talk to Politico Florida but refused to be identified....

    Stephen Bittel, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party.
  11. More than 200 Florida political insiders are nearly unanimous: you should expect more Capitol allegations

    State Roundup

    In the aftermath of tawdry allegations ending the career of a state senator (Democrat Jeff Clemens of Palm Beach County) and threatening to end another's (Republican Jack Latvala of Pinellas), more than 200 Florida political pros are nearly unanimous: More legislators will face public accusations of sexual harassment or extramarital affairs.

    A whopping 97 percent said so in the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll of lobbyists, fundraisers, political operatives, academics and others....

    Florida Capitol looking east, Tallahassee.  FOR FILE.
  12. Insiders expect more Capitol allegations

    State Roundup

    In the aftermath of tawdry allegations ending the career of a state senator (Democrat Jeff Clemens of Palm Beach County) and threatening to end another's (Republican Jack Latvala of Pinellas), more than 200 Florida political pros are nearly unanimous: More legislators will face public accusations of sexual harassment or extramarital affairs.

    A whopping 97 percent said so in the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll of lobbyists, fundraisers, political operatives, academics and others....

     Florida Governor Rick Scott Addresses joint session of the Florida Legislature, 3/7/17 in Tallahassee.
  13. Adam C. Smith: 8 takeaways from the St. Pete mayor's race

    State Roundup

    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayor's race was Rick Baker's to lose, and with a giant assist from Donald Trump, that's what happened. The popular former mayor nearly came back in the campaign's final weeks, but fell short against Rick Kriseman because of a serious strategic miscalculation.

    First, we should acknowledge what's easily overlooked in Baker's loss: He nearly unseated an incumbent mayor in a city where almost everybody sees things headed in the right direction. And, remarkably, the Republican candidate at least tied the Democrat among overwhelmingly Democratic African-American voters. That would have been a national story had Baker won....

    Rick Baker addresses his supporters as he is defeated in his bid for St. Petersburg Mayor at 400 Beach in St. Petersburg Tuesday evening. (DIRK SHADD   |   Times)
  14. Graham jokes bomb with tough crowd

    State Roundup

    First of all, we should stipulate that addressing the annual Associated Press pre-session planning day is a tough gig for politicians. Unlike partisan events, the crowd at these gatherings is largely stone faced, non-clapping reporters and editors from across the state and, especially after lunch, pretty low energy.

    So Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham faced a tough room Thursday when she showed up at the Capitol Building's observatory. But she sure did not help herself with two weird jokes that fell utterly flat before the quizzical reporters looking on....

    Senate budget chairman Senator Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, said foreshadowed that Gov. Rick Scott veto on HB 7069, a massive education bill. "We'll let him do his job," Latvala said. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  15. Surprising opponent may take on Charlie Crist

    State Roundup

    Just in case you thought former Republican/former independent/former governor/former finalist for vice president/former U.S. Senate candidate/former washed-up politician/current Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist's career couldn't get any weirder, there's a new development.

    A singer and diehard Donald Trump supporter appears to be looking at running against Crist for his Pinellas County U.S. House seat....

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman (left) is facing former Mayor Rick Baker in this year's St. Petersburg mayoral contest. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]