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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: Republicans poised to unseat Democratic mayor in St. Pete

    Blog

    Charles Frago reports:

    A newly released robo poll by St. Pete Polls shows Republican former Mayor Rick Baker beating Kriseman by  a 43.5 to 38.8 percentage point margin.

    If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the Aug. 29 primary, the race continues until Nov.7. That appears to be a distinct possibility at this point. Only 8.9  percent of voters remain undecided. Another 8.7 percent split their support among the other five candidates on the ballot: Ernisa Barnwell (0 percent), Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassite (3 percent), Paul Congemi (1.7 percent), Anthony Cates III (2 percent) and Jesse Nevel 2.1 percent)....

  2. Bill Nelson Video: Talk to this Florida mom before you call Obamacare a failure

    Blog

    Sen. Bill Nelson spoke on the senate floor about the health care reform debate, sharing the story of a single Florida mother trying to keep alive her daughter, kindergarten teacher Megan Geller, who died at age 28 in 2015 after a two-year battle with leukemia.

     

    “The mom of this girl, had she been faced with this without insurance coverage, she would be bankrupt. She wouldn't have been able to even afford the first transplant, much less the two years of extra life that her daughter had fighting for her life. And anybody who goes through something like Elaine and her daughter Megan did knows that every second counts. That's what this health care debate is really about, giving people peace of mind, giving them that financial security, that certainty, putting people's health ahead of other things, like company profits.”...

  3. Florida inspired new group focused on improving how elections are run

    Blog

    A new group run by two lawyers and veteran Democratic operatives specializing in voter protection efforts is launching a pilot program in Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to work with local elections officials to improve the voting process. Access Democracy, run by Obama's 2012 Florida Voter Protection Director Hannah Fried and Alexis Prieur L'Heureux, wants to help identify problems using specific data and partner with election officials to tackle problems such as long lines as well as support supervisor of elections candidates who want to improve access to voting....

    Access Democracy wants to improve voter participation and how elections are run
  4. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    "I'm glad I came," the former mayor declared, not especially convincingly, as he clutched his wife's hand. "A lot of positive energy here. It's good to see people participating. And it's a good economic boost."

    It was unclear whether Baker's uncharacteristically stiff demeanor Sunday had to do with the oppressive heat, the bearded guy walking by him in a summer dress, or a reporter questioning him about his evolving views on LGBT issues. For a devoutly religious man who as mayor refused to sign a proclamation recognizing the Pride parade and festival and now wants to be mayor again, this had to be one of the more awkward weekends of his campaign....

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  5. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week...

  6. Florida insiders not bullish on state parties

    State Roundup

    We conducted another Florida Insider Poll last week that found our state's political intelligentsia overwhelmingly bullish on Republican prospects for 2018. But many of the comments from the more than 190 veteran politicos highlighted how weak both parties are perceived these days.

    That's long been the case with the Florida Democratic Party, now chaired by Miami millionaire Stephen Bittel, but not the Florida GOP, chaired by state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia of Spring Hill. A decade ago, no one would have imagined the Republican Party of Florida all but abandoned by the sitting Republican governor (Rick Scott walked away when the party elected Ingoglia chairman, rather than his preferred candidate) and more or less avoided by the Republican front-runner to succeed him, Adam Putnam....

     Democratic WomenOs Club members attend Tally Days: Judy Meyers and June Keener, members of the Democratic WomenOs Club of Pasco County, recently attended the 4th Annual Tally Days hosted by the Democratic WomenOs Cub of Florida in Tallahassee. Meyers, from left, who serves as Region V chairwoman of the DWCF as well as legislative liaison of the DWCPC, and Keener, who is president of the DWCPC, pose with Allison Tant Richard, Florida Democratic Party chairwoman, and Maureen McKenna, DWCF president, during the legislative reception. The DWCF of Pasco County meets at 11 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month at Jasmine Lakes Civic Center, 7173 Jasmine Blvd., Port Richey. For information, call June at (727) 372-9321.
  7. It's a good news, bad news story for Florida Democrats

    Blog

    After Donald Trump’s election, so many people started showing up at monthly Pinellas County Democratic Party meetings, the group had to start forking out more money for a bigger room.

    The Orange County Democratic Executive Committee changed venues to accommodate bigger crowds of fired-up Democrats. And within the fast-growing Hillsborough Democratic Party, activists have launched New Tampa and Temple Terrace clubs, the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Tampa Bay and Labor and Caribbean caucuses....

    Former Vice President Joe Biden addresses Florida Democrats at their Leadership Blue Gala on June 17.
  8. Florida Insiders: The state parties are dying; 'I heard someone long for the leadership of Jim Greer'

    Blog

    For all the attention on Florida Democratic Chairman Stephen Bittel's bone-headed gaffe this week, the diminished state of the once mighty Florida GOP today compared to even a few years ago is arguably more striking than the condition of the long-suffering Florida Democratic Party. A decade ago, no one would have imagined the Republican Party of Florida all but abandoned by the sitting Republican governor and more or less avoided by the Republican frontrunner to succeed him....

    Florida Insider Poll
  9. Florida Democrats surging with grass roots enthusiasm, but 2018 reality is grim

    State Roundup

    After Donald Trump's election, so many people started showing up at monthly Pinellas County Democratic Party meetings, the group had to start forking out more money for a bigger room.

    The Orange County Democratic Executive Committee changed venues to accommodate bigger crowds of fired-up Democrats. And within the fast-growing Hillsborough Democratic Party, activists have launched New Tampa and Temple Terrace clubs, the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Tampa Bay and Labor and Caribbean caucuses....

    Palm Beach County Democratic Party chairwoman Terrie Rizzo gets a hug from former Vice President Joe Biden on June 17 at the Leadership Blue Gala.
  10. 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?
  11. 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
  12. 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....

  13. 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.
  14. 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....

  15. 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....