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Port Gamble S'Klallam exec resigns to work for Obama

LITTLE BOSTON — His new boss says it's time for a change and he agrees.

For Tom Karwaki, who — until 5 p.m. Thursday — serves as the Port Gamble S'Klallam's director of economic development, the well-known chant "Obama, Obama," is more than a presidential plea. It's a call to action.

Karwaki, 54, said he put in his notice of resignation from the tribe to take a post serving the presidential campaign for Barack Obama to "assure the safety of the world," he said.

With northern Virginia the slated destination, Karwaki said the next step in his life brings about a new challenge: "changing Virginia into a blue state."

Before taking his post at the tribe one year ago, Karwaki said he spent more than 20 years in northern Virginia as vice chair for a democratic committee and worked for Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Democratic congressional candidate Gerry Connolly. Karwaki said he's also worked for California's Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives.

"I've learned so much from working with the tribes," Karwaki said. "I'm a catalyst. My job is really to be putting people together to develop economic development plans. I'm part salesman, part planner, part politician."

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