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Friday, August 20, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Younger Kerry hits the campaign trail

By Matthew Rodriguez
Seattle Times staff reporter

JAMES BRANAMAN / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Cameron Kerry, brother of John Kerry, shakes hands with Lou Cutler of Seattle as the two converse about growing up in neighboring areas of Boston. Kerry spoke yesterday at the Kerry-Edwards 2004 Washington state office in Seattle.
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Kerry fights back over ads criticizing his Navy service
As John Kerry went off to Vietnam, he had one last conversation with his younger brother.

"His last words of advice to me as he went off to get the plane for his first tour of duty in Vietnam were: 'Go to Yale,' " Cameron Kerry, 53, recalled yesterday.

Cam, as he is known to friends and family, went to Harvard. His more famous older brother, Sen. John Kerry, went to Yale.

Cameron Kerry, a Kerry campaign volunteer and confidant to his brother, was in Seattle yesterday to meet with local Jewish leaders, lawyers and campaign supporters.

The soft-spoken Kerry has worked on each of his brother's campaigns since a failed 1972 congressional bid.

Cameron Kerry, who converted to Judaism 21 years ago when he married, began the day by speaking to local Jewish leaders.

Afterward, he described a recent trip to Israel, where he saw the names of his great aunt and great uncle who died in the Holocaust, something the Kerry family learned earlier this year.

"It brought tears to my eyes," he said.

Kerry, who was raised Catholic, graduated from Boston College Law School in 1978. He is a lawyer with the Boston firm Mintz Levin.

Over lunch, he spoke to about 65 lawyers at the Bank of America Tower. Before he spoke, a friend, Abbie Morris, gave him a photograph of the 1972 campaign to give to Sen. Kerry's two daughters.

Several questions from the lawyers focused on ensuring an accurate vote count this fall. Kerry told them the campaign is deploying lawyers in key states to work on voting issues.
 
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Kerry has not run for public office, saying he's a "more private person than public office calls for." But he speaks to his brother frequently, sometimes several times in a day, to discuss campaign strategy and family matters.

"They're definitely brothers," said James Boyce, an aide to Cameron Kerry. "They look alike. They act alike. They're both very intelligent."

Yesterday afternoon, he greeted a roomful of about 75 Women for Kerry supporters at the Kerry-Edwards 2004 Washington state office.

Kerry yesterday criticized TV ads that question his brother's military service.

"I don't know what these people have against people who served — served heroically in Vietnam or served heroically elsewhere," Kerry said.

Matthew Rodriguez: 206-464-3192 or mrodriguez@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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