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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. Stealth anti-Jack Latvala group tied to Adam Putnam campaign

    Blog

    Politico reports:

     A longtime political consultant for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is behind a website calling one of his rivals in the race, state Sen. Jack Latvala, a “liberal.”

    The committee responsible for the “Liberal Jack Latvala” site is funded by the political committee United Conservatives for Florida. That committee’s chairman is 20-year-old Skylar Lee Frey, who is registered to vote at a Sarasota home owned by Mac Stevenson....

  2. John Morgan intends to pressure every Florida politician to fund wage initiative

    Blog

    John Morgan, the publicity-loving personal injury lawyer/entrepreneur who spearheaded the successful medical marijuana initiative, soon plans to start collecting signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative raising Florida minimum wage. He plans to "spend millions of my own money" on the effort, but he also intends to pressure every ambitious politician in Florida to help out on the effort.

    "I'm going to have a scorecard for Florida's politicians," Morgan told The Buzz. "I plan to list every elected official that's running for office and holding office, and I'm going to ask them to go to their donors and donate to this cause. If you really believe in this then do something."...

  3. Nicholas the Dolphin flipped for 'Old School Republican' Jack Latvala

    Blog

    Surrounded by several hundred friends and supporters at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Republican State Sen. Jack Latvala noted that the only other officially announced Republican for governor (Adam Putnam) kicked off his campaign with a high school marching band. Then Latvala introduced Nicholas the Dolphin, who prompty swam over to Latvala's tank-side podium and did multiple flips in the air....

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, left, announces his plan to run for governor, as supervisor of animal care Deneke Fripp asks Nicholas the dolphin to welcome the crowd Wednesday at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. With Latvala from left are his wife, Connie Prince, son, state Rep. Chris Latvala and daughter, Stephanie Courson.
  4. Mayor of historic African-American city endorses Chris King for governor

    Blog

    The mayor of Eatonville, a town near Orlando that was incorporated in 1887 as one of America's first all-black cities, today endorsed Winter Park businessman Chris King for governor. Mayor Eddie Cole said he has seen King's character first hand:

    "For some folks, Chris may be a new face, but I’ve known and felt the impact of his work in Central Florida for quite some time. From his work in affordable housing to his philanthropies in public schools, I know Chris to be a man of character, hard work, and inclusion," Mayor Cole said. "Florida is failing to meet the basic needs of its citizens – most acutely where jobs, housing, and health care are concerned. As the mayor of Eatonville, I’ve seen how far our community has come and how far we have to go. I’ve also seen how for too long communities of color have been forgotten, while elected officials pay lip service to both the unique and common challenges we face. I know with Chris we’ll have more than just a seat at the table: a real partner in bringing about economic change here in Eatonville and across the state.”...

    Eddie Cole
  5. Here's what Florida's gubernatorial contenders say about removing Confederate monuments from public lands

    Blog

    Chris King, a Winter Park businessman and Democratic candidate for governor, yesterday called for the removal of all Confederate monuments from public lands in Florida in the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville. We checked in the others running or talking about running for governor on the subject:

    Gwen Graham: "Our state's role in the Civil War and the deplorable promotion of slavery still cause deep pain today. We all have a responsibility to combat racism and hate wherever it exists. We all must educate our children about this painful history and teach them to love one another. Now, more than ever, it is imperative we promote and celebrate the values and aspirations that unify us as Floridians and Americans. I stand with the Florida cities and towns that have relocated monuments from public spaces and strongly support efforts to place all these statutes where they belong: in cemeteries, museums, and textbooks." ...

    Protesters climb the Confederate Memorial in Tampa on Sunday night after more than 200 people marched down the streets of downtown Tampa to protest white supremacy. Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Hillsborough Flaggers plan are standing guard now to protect the statute.
  6. Jack Latvala on Adam Putnam, Ron DeSantis, Richard Corcoran

    Blog

    In today's interview for his gubernatorial campaign kickoff,. Jack Latvala acknowledges his reputation for being, well, a jerk at times.

    "But here's the key to that: A lot of times people will say that about me, and they also say, 'But he's my a--h---.' My constituents have traditionally liked having somebody like me. I'm going to get in people's faces if I need to. I've probably moderated that a little in recent years, but sometimes you need to."...

  7. Jack Latvala on governor's race: 'I'm going to get in people's faces'

    State Roundup

    CLEARWATER — Jack Latvala will formally kick off his campaign for governor today promising something almost unprecedented in modern Florida history: He will be a governor focused entirely on the state's future, not his own.

    "Part of our problem in Tallahassee is we have government by people who are trying to move up the ladder all the time," said the Republican state senator who plans campaign stops in Hialeah, his hometown of Clearwater and Panama City....

    Jack Latvala has served two stints in the state Senate. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  8. Jack Latvala on governor's race: 'I'm going to get in people's faces'

    State Roundup

    CLEARWATER — Jack Latvala will formally kick off his campaign for governor today promising something almost unprecedented in modern Florida history: He will be a governor focused entirely on the state's future, not his own.

    "Part of our problem in Tallahassee is we have government by people who are trying to move up the ladder all the time," said the Republican state senator who plans campaign stops in Hialeah, his hometown of Clearwater and Panama City....

    Senator and budget chairman Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, left, answers questions from reporters about the state budget agreement during the 2017 session. (SCOTT KEELER   |   Times)
  9. Another Florida U.S. House member endorses Andrew Gillum

    Blog

    Democratic U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings of  Miramar endorsed Tallahassee Mayor for governor in June. Now a second Democratic member of the Florida delegation, Frederica Wilson of Miami, is following suit.

    “I am very excited to endorse Mayor Andrew Gillum for Governor of Florida.  Mayor Gillum is one of Florida’s brightest young political minds and most energetic public servants.  He has the courage to confront Florida’s biggest challenges: protecting access to affordable healthcare, building a more inclusive economy, revitalizing public education, and addressing climate change and rising sea level crisis. Florida needs a leader like Mayor Gillum whom we can trust to rebuild our state into one that works for everyone,” said Rep. Wilson, who, like Hastings, served with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham in the House from 2015-2017....

    Frederica Wilson
  10. Candidate for Florida governor wants all Confederate monuments off public land

    Blog

    Chris King, the Winter Park affordable housing investor running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, on Facebook has called for the removal of all Confederate monuments from public lands in Florida:

    "It's time for the orderly removal all the Confederate monuments in Florida. These monuments should be removed because we should not celebrate literal anti-American ideology or any ideology based on the oppression of any group of people. And to those who say these monuments are needed to preserve our history, I say we don't need memorials celebrating this dark time in our history. As we've seen in Charlottesville this weekend, we live with the legacy of this history every day....

    Chris King
  11. Radio ad paints Bill Nelson as soft on Castro, Chavez

    Blog

    From the Miami Herald's Alex Daugherty: In their first radio ad against Sen. Bill Nelson, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is attacking the Democrat up for reelection over his perceived softness towards Venezuela and Cuba.

    The ad, titled "Accomplice," is the latest evidence that the ongoing crisis in Venezuela will become a political issue in South Florida, where Venezuelan voters are concentrated in parts of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. It will air on four Spanish-language radio stations in the Miami area. LISTEN HERE...

  12. Florida Democrats plan registration drives to counter Charlottesville violence

    Blog

    "The white supremacists who organized the hateful demonstrations and violent protests in Charlottesville want to intimidate us--they will not. We will not fall silent, and we will not allow these acts of terror to subdue us. We are proud to be launching a statewide effort to expand the vote and counteract these acts of hate with hope. We are encouraging every Floridian to participate and #RallytoRegister on Saturday, August 19th. Take a stand--register to vote, join your local Democratic Party, and defend our democracy." said Florida Democratic Party Chair Stephen Bittel....

  13. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Philip Levine.  There is little buzz so far among Democratic activists and political elites about the Miami Beach mayor flirting with a run for governor. But he’s already raised far more than any other Democrat in the mix, more than $4.5 million without a single fundraising reception. That automatically makes him a top contender that Gwen Graham best beware....

  14. Jack Latvala files for Florida governor, becoming latest Tampa Bay contender

    State Roundup

    Get ready for the Jack attack.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, the gruff, longtime force in Tampa Bay and Tallahassee politics, on Friday filed campaign papers to run for governor in 2018 setting the stage for a Tampa Bay-centric battle for the future of Florida's GOP.

    Latvala, 65, is the sort of pragmatic, give-and-take Republican legislator who has fallen out of favor with much of the base lately, but allies insist he is underestimated in a potentially crowded Republican field dominated by career politicians....

    After tough budget negotiations for several days in Tallahassee, state Sen. Jack Latvala shares laughs on the floor of the Senate. (SCOTT KEELER   |   Times)
  15. Why do Florida cities have to pretend their elections are non-partisan?

    Blog

    ...."Anyone who has ever knocked on a door for a campaign, in either party, in the last 15 years will tell you it is the first or second question the person answering the door asks," said St. Petersburg City Council member Charlie Gerdes, a Democrat and Kriseman supporter.

    Urban reformers in the early 20th century pressed for nonpartisan elections under the theory that fixing potholes and installing sewer lines are nonpartisan issues, and party machines breed corruption....