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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

Former Democratic Party chair dead at 73

Former Democratic Party chairman Joaquin "Kin" Perez with Speaker Tina Muna Barnes /. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Speaker.

Guam mourns the death of former Democratic Party chairman Joaquin “Kin” Perez on Monday. He was 73.

“Our hearts are heavy today and we join Uncle Kin's family and loved ones in prayer,” said Party chair Régine Biscoe Lee. “Generations of public servants were made better because he was generous with his mentorship. Countless laws helped more people because he was always willing to engage in the process. We can only hope that we who were privileged enough to be guided by a political giant like Uncle Kin can honor his memory by being willing to help the leaders of tomorrow.”

Perez dedicated his life to public service. He served on the Port Authority of Guam, Guam Power Authority, the Guam Historic Preservation Review Board, chief of staff in the Guam Legislature and the Lt. Governor’s Office, and then as an invaluable resource in the Congressional Office.

“From the Port Authority of Guam to GPA, from the halls of the Guam Legislature to the U.S. Capitol Building, Uncle Kin believed in the unrelenting spirit of the CHamoru People and fought for their progress and prosperity throughout his life,” reads a statement from the Guam Democratic Party.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero described Perez as a “student of our history and our politics,” who “touched everyone with wisdom and wit.”

“Today, Josh and I lost a good and loyal friend, and our party lost one of its strongest voices. As a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Kin He loved Guam and the people who made Guam special,” the governor said.

Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said Perez advanced the self-governance and the prosperity of the Chamorro people through a lifetime of public service.

“He’s advised governors, sat with admirals, met presidents, and always had Guam on his mind,” Tenorio said. “Kin was a very close and personal friend to me and I will miss him dearly. We send our condolences to his entire family and his partner in life, Lori Duenas. We also remember his life and the joy with which he lived.”

Speaker Muña Barnes said Perez was “a staunch advocate of Democratic ideals and the CHamoru culture.”

“To Auntie Lori and his children, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to you - Uncle Kin’s legacy will always live on throughout Guam’s history. On countless campaigns, I have had the privilege to stand next to Uncle Kin and truly learn and understand the meaning of public service,” Muna Barnes said. “Uncle Kin, thank you for all you’ve done for our island.”

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