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David M. Howard, the political director for the California Association of Realtors, died Saturday, three weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 64.

"I'll remember how smart he was politically, and his shoot-from-the-hip style," said lobbyist Bob Giroux, a close friend of Howard's.

"He was very savvy. He knew everything about campaigns, from reading the polls to figuring out the messaging."

Howard served on the national advisory council of UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies and on the editorial board of the California Target Book, which handicaps elections. At the realtors association, he managed federal, state and local political action committees.

Prior to joining the California Association of Realtors in 2000, Howard worked for the California Association of Health Plans and AARP.

He is survived by his wife Deborah.



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