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State House News Service reports that Byrd, after working for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, has contributed to Patrick’s current Republican rival, Charlie Baker. And liberal labor activist Patrick Crowley see Byrd’s affiliation with some conservative campaigns as a sign that the Moderate Party is less than moderate.
Kahlil Byrd, who served as Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s communications director during his winning 2006 campaign, has signed on to manage Moderate Party of RI candidate Ken Block’s gubernatorial run. The hiring was confirmed by Moderate Party executive director Christine Hunsinger.
While third-party candidates have traditionally faced stiff challenges, snagging an experienced operative like Byrd is something of a coup for Block and his nascent party.
Byrd briefly served in Patrick’s administration before returning to the private sector, as the Boston Phoenix’s Adam Reilly described:
"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.
According to his Council on Foreign Relations bio, Byrd founded Sung Media Ventures, "an advisory firm that helps launch and sustain international media organizations." Sung Media has a link to Moderate Party communications director Kate Cantwell.
The Mods are set to formally unveil their statewide candidates at 2 pm this Sunday at Everyman Bistro in Providence.