Washington, D.C. (April 11, 2011) – The White House Office of the Press Secretary released a statement by President Obama on the passing of Kam Kuwata, who reportedly passed away of natural causes at his southern California home. He was 57, unmarried and survived by a mother and a brother.
A political consultant for more than a quarter century, Kuwata played important roles in Hawai’i and California campaigns from Senators Alan Cranston, Dianne Feinstein, and Daniel Akaka to the 2008 Presidential Campaign of Barack Obama. He specialized in strategic planning, media coordination, and press and message development.
In 2008, Kuwata served as the program director for the Obama campaign at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He was also campaign manager for the successful high speed rail bond measure on the California ballot.
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of my friend Kam Kuwata,” President Obama stated. “Kam’s brilliance as a political strategist was matched by his passion for our country and the process by which we govern ourselves.
“I’ll never forget the critical contribution Kam made to our efforts in 2008, planning an open, vibrant Convention that really captured the spirit of our campaign,” he added. “Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to Kam’s extended family of friends and to so many in California who mourn his passing.”
In 2004, Kuwata ran the statewide education bond (Proposition 55) campaign in California. In past years he also served as a consultant for the Democratic Party in both states and to statewide and local campaigns, including those for Gray Davis, Leo McCarthy, Jim Hahn, Robert Matsui, and Jane Harman.
Born and raised in the Bay Area to parents who were interned Japanese Americans during World War II, Kuwata went on to earn a degree in political science from the University of Southern California.
He would head his own public/press relations firm, Kuwata Communications, and quickly gained the attention of would-be candidates with a successful string of managing political campaigns.
Kuwata was a consultant to the Milken Family Foundation, working as a governmental relations liaison. He helped to obtain new funding for Prostate Cancer research and developed the foundation’s communications strategy.