Kahlil Byrd leaves the Patrick campaign

Odd timing on this one. Here's the press release the Patrick camp just issued:

Byrd to Return to Business Interests

BOSTON-Wednesday, April 12, 2006—The Deval Patrick campaign today announced that Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director Kahlil Byrd is leaving his full-time position to return to business and foreign policy interests he suspended when he joined the campaign. Byrd will remain a paid senior advisor to the campaign through the convention on June 3rd.

"As one of the top advisors who has been with us since the beginning, I will miss Kahlil’s support and advice," said Patrick. "But, as a former corporate executive, I understand that key business development decisions often can’t wait and I wish Kahlil well as he pursues his entrepreneurial goals," Patrick added. 

Byrd joined the campaign in March 2005 and has worked seven-day weeks since then, providing communications advice and input on strategy and execution of the overall campaign plan.

"Kahlil has been a key part of the team that has helped to take Deval from zero name recognition to the momentum we all now feel about our grassroots success," said John Walsh, Patrick’s campaign manager. 

Before joining the campaign Byrd helped launch the US operations of the African Public Broadcasting Foundation, an organization focused on creating a viable public service television network on the continent. He plans to return to this effort, and others, dedicated to creating sustainable media in the developing world.  

Byrd is also an International Affairs Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, a position he deferred last year to work with the campaign.  This fellowship gives successful mid career professionals the opportunity to bridge the gap between thought and action in foreign policy.  Former fellows include Samantha Power and Condoleeza Rice. 

"I will be a part of this campaign—either as an advisor or a volunteer—until election day," he said. "Deval Patrick is the best candidate in this field and will make a great Governor—he will specifically be a great Governor for those like me who have an entrepreneurial interest and need someone in the corner office who knows how to create and keep good jobs in our state."

"My goal was to help Deval and the campaign team establish a solid communications foundation and to launch well," Byrd said. "Deval is inspiring people in the state and I think he has gathered a great team of professionals to take this campaign through the hard stretch run to November."

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