He recalled an incident when former California Senate nominee Ed Zschau's (R) campaign sent out someone dressed as a chicken to a Cranston press conference in order to make a point about Cranston being "too chicken" to debate. Kuwata, then an assistant press secretary, "immediately shot out a response" to Zschau's manager Ron Smith, according to Sragow. It said: "Ron if you want to attend one of our press conferences, you don't have to come disguised as a chicken.'" "It was such a clever way of turning that little incident around," Sragow added. "He loved to have a good time and he loved to hang out with people. [He was] very, very, very warm and a caring person with a lot of friends." Republican consultant Allan Hoffenblum said Kuwata was "one of the best on the Democratic side." "He was a real pro and highly respected by everyone," said Hoffenblum, publisher of the California Target Book. "(He) knew how to hit hard back if he thought his client required so." Updated at 5:27 p.m.