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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


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @AdamSmithTimes

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff should be harder to access. Bonus: Scott got to stick it to Speaker Corcoran, who supported breaking down the wall and whose brother is a lobbyist for Walmart. Winner II: Florida women. Say goodbye to sales tax on tampons and sanitary napkins, among the package of tax cuts Gov. Scott signed last week....

  2. Kellyanne Conway to headline Miami GOP dinner


    Senior Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway is scheduled to headline the Miami-Dade Republican Party's June 27 Lincoln Day Dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport. Miami-Dade is among Trump's worst-performing counties, and, thanks largely to Trump, where Democrats see a prime opportunity to pick off two GOP-held U.S. House seats that Trump lost home to one of the the most vulnerable Republican U.S last year, one held by Carlos Curbelo and another by retiring Ileana Ros-Lehtinen....

    Kellyanne Conway
  3. Richard Corcoran has a new committee to help him become governor


    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran has opened a new political committee, Watchdog PAC, that may or may not bankroll his campaign for governor in 2018. The Land O'Lakes Republican says he will remain speaker of the Florida House through the 2018 session and decide after that whether or not he will run for governor....

  4. 'Biggest winner' of session, Richard Corcoran, paid $20k to the guy who named him biggest winner


    In the final days of the 2017 legislative session, as Tallahassee obsessed over whether a budget deal might happen or implode like Frank Artiles' political career, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran decided he could use some friendly P.R. Corcoran's political committee, Florida Roundtable, paid $20,000 to Extensive Enterprises, the St. Petersburg-based media firm that works for several big lobbying shops and runs the FloridaPolitics web site. ...

  5. Check out the Florida Democrats' new hires


    Florida Democratic Party release:

    MIAMI – The Florida Democratic Party continues working to build the strongest statewide grassroots operation in FDP history. Today, Chair Stephen Bittel announced several key hires and promotions within the Florida Democratic Party. 

    “Over the past few months we have seen a resurgent Florida Democratic Party,” said FDP Chair Stephen Bittel. “In large part, this has been thanks to the tireless efforts of our staff. That is why I am very proud to announce two major promotions and several new hires. I’m confident that the new Florida Democratic Party will build the strongest, most effective grassroots infrastructure in the entire country as we turn Florida back to blue in 2018.”...

  6. Shakeup in Adam Putnam's campaign for governor


    UPDATE: On Tuesday, talking to reporters after Cabinet, Putnam had this to say about staff turnover: "This is a grassroots movement and I’m very excited about the team that we have and I wish the team members who’ve moved on to other things the very best. ... You’re always adjusting and modifying as you move forward."

    In a sign of unsteadiness for what had looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner for governor suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director.

    Hard-charging campaign manager Kristin Davison and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join Putnam's senior political team, along with former National Republican Senatorial Committee Executive Director Ward Baker, who remains with the campaign....

    Adam Putnam met with members of small businesses in Pensacola as part of his 10-day bus tour.
  7. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


    Winner of the week

    Carlos Lopez-Cantera. Big week for Florida's normally invisible lieutenant governor. He and a crew of hunters bagged a 15-foot Burmese python in the Everglades. And a poll (put out by his campaign consultants, but still) showed him well-positioned to win the GOP nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

    Loser of the week...

    Carlos Lopez-Cantera and friend
  8. Latvala consulting his team about 2018 run

    State Roundup

    State Sen. Jack Latvala continues to make moves that suggest he is serious about running for governor in 2018.

    A political committee the Clearwater Republican runs is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. today on Treasure Island with top supporters and political consultants. Latvala told the Times/Herald last week that his interest in running for governor is real and he expects to make a decision later in the summer....

    Jack Latvala is considering   running for governor.
  9. In Tampa, Philip Levine opens door to running for governor as an independent

    State Roundup

    TAMPA — Maybe multimillionaire Miami Beach businessman Philip Levine was just trying to be provocative, earn a little extra attention as he mulls a run for governor. Maybe he was just spitballing an unlikely idea before the Tampa Tiger Bay Club luncheon Friday.

    But the Miami Beach mayor and close friend of Bill Clinton said he is keeping the door wide open to running for governor as an independent candidate....

    Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine speaks at a Tampa Tiger Bay Club meeting at the Ferguson Law Center in Tampa on Friday. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times)
  10. Philip Levine opens door to running as independent for governor


    Maybe multimillionaire Miami Beach businessman Philip Levine was just trying to be provocative, earn a little extra attention as he mulls a run for governor. Maybe he was just spitballing an unlikely idea before the Tampa Tiger Bay luncheon Friday. But the Miami Beach Mayor and close friend of Bill Clinton said he is keeping the door wide open to running for governor as an independent candidate....

    Philip Levine at Tampa Tiger Bay
  11. Someone must make the case for Adam Putnam as governor other than 'Adam Putnam was always going to be governor'


    This month's Florida Insider Poll poll asked about the prospects of Marco Rubio and Donald Trump running for president again in 2020. And we asked about the evolving races for governor, including the possibility of Jack Latvala and/or John Morgan jumping in. ...

    We allow participants in the Florida Insider Polls to weigh in anonymously to encourage honest assessments of people many of the Insiders work with or are friends with
  12. Florida Insider Poll: John Morgan would knock out Gwen Graham; Adam Putnam will face tough primary


    Florida Democrats and Republicans are 15 months away from picking their 2018 nominees for governor, but the state's political elites see overwhelming early frontrunners.

    The heavy Republican favorite is Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, according to the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll. The Democratic favorite is former Tallahassee U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, according to the more than 200 veteran Florida political operatives, fundraisers, lobbyists, and activists participating in the unscientific survey....

       The big question mark over that Democratic race is whether multimillionaire trial lawyer John Morgan gets in. He is flirting with running, and more than 55 percent predicted he would win the primary if he ran, while nearly 35 percent said Gwen Graham would win.
  13. Pam Bondi weighs in on James Comey firing


    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi,, the earliest high profile endorser of Donald Trump, said the president did the right thing firing FBI Director James Comey, regardless of whether he was in the midst of overseeing an investigation into the Trump administration's dealings with Russia.

    "I think it was justified. He has every legal right to do so. Democrats were complaining about him, Republicans were complaining about him. That job should not be a political job. We should not be hearing very publicly from the leader of the FBI," said Bondi, who also called former FBI Director Robert Mueller a good choice for special counsel looking at the Russia matter....

    Pam Bondi
  14. Mute Constitution Revision Commissioners hear from Tampa Bay


    Florida's Constition Revision Commission held its ninth "Floridians Talk, We Listen" public hearing in Tampa Wednesday evening, drawing about 200 people eager to let the 37-member board know what it wants and doesn't in Florida's Constitution.

    People asked for less gun control and more. Open primaries to empower nonpartisan voters. A change to the constitution's privacy clause so that it no longer thwarts abortion restrictions, and no change to that clause. They asked for protections for black bears and protections for public schools against charter schools siphoning money away. They asked for more transparency from the CRC, which is still grappling with how much to embrace Florida's Sunshine Laws, more solar power, and less opportunity for expanded gambling....

    At the Constution Revision Commission's public hearing in Tampa one fellow urged less gun control for Florians while audience members raised red cards in opposition, green in support
  15. Big names from inside and outside St. Pete step up to raise money for Rick Baker


    Check out the big, heavily Republican group of  civic leaders stepping up to raise money for Rick Baker's mayoral campaign at a May 23 reception at the Moreon Center for Clay in St. Pete.

    Several former mayors -- Bob Ulrich, David Fischer, Bill Foster are on there, So are prominent business leaders such as banker David Feaster, Chico's Chairman Ross Roeder, Ashley Furniture founder Ron Wanek. High profule developers including Darryl LeClair, Mark Stroud, and Jonathan Daou. Business leaders best known for their GOP activism are on there, including Ambassador Mel Sembler, former Jeb Bush and Dick Cheney Chief of Staff Kathleen Shanahan, and Jim Holton. Prominent African-Americans tight with Baker, including Goliath Davis, Donnie Williams and Deveron Gibbons. A bunch of current and former politicians including state Sens. Jeff Brandes and Jack Latvala, state Rep. Wengay Newton, former state Rep. Frank Farkas, city council members Jim Kennedy and Ed Montanari, and former city council members Leslie Curran and Larry Williams....

    Rick Baker's May 23 fundraiser invite