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Democratic communications consultant Bob Cherry died last week following a yearlong battle with esophageal cancer. He was 63.

Cherry served as associate executive director of California Teachers Association, and he also lead the union-backed 2005 campaign to defeat a series of special election ballot measures pushed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Other work included the campaign of Gov. Gray Davis and the campaign to pass Proposition 98, which sets a funding minimum for California schools.

"Bob will always be remembered for his passion and insight," former CTA President Barbara E. Kerr said in a statement released by Cherry's family. "He was the best organizer I ever worked with and was a dedicated advocate for all CTA members and their rights in the classroom."

In 2006, Cherry joined with two friends to form Hein, Cherry & Attore, a political consulting firm whose clients include "Working Californians," an independent expenditure campaign supporting Jerry Brown's gubernatorial bid.

"Bob was a bulldog who took no prisoners and was often the smartest person in the room," John Hein, CEO of HC&A said in a statement. " When he took on a project he studied it like a doctoral student owning every square inch of real estate."

Cherry, who died Wednesday, is survived by his wife, son and daughter-in-law. A scholarship fund is being set up in his honor. Contact for more information.

A previous version of this post stated that Cherry is survived by two sons. He is survived by one.


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