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R. Gregory Stevens, 42; Colorful GOP Consultant

From Wire Services
Sunday, March 6, 2005; Page C12

Republican media adviser R. Gregory Stevens, 42, died Feb. 26 in a guest room at the Los Angeles home of longtime friend and actress Carrie Fisher.

An autopsy failed to determine the cause of death, but foul play is not suspected, David Campbell of the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Friday.

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During last year's presidential race, Mr. Stevens served as co-chairman of the Bush/Cheney Entertainment Task Force and managed the campaign's relationships with entertainment industry leaders and film, television and music celebrities.

An associate with the Washington lobbying group Barbour Griffith & Rogers, Mr. Stevens specialized in foreign campaign consulting and advised candidates in 24 international elections, according to his biography posted on the firm's Web site.

Mr. Stevens, who also served on the 2001 presidential inaugural committee, was known as a flamboyant contrarian in Washington's socially conservative political circles.

The San Clemente, Calif., native rose from the California Republican Party to the Bush-Quayle campaign of 1988 and served as White House liaison to the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President George H.W. Bush. Mr. Stevens was a graduate of the University of Southern California.

After the Republicans lost the White House in 1992, he spent the next two years as an associate with Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, a lobbying firm based in Alexandria.

Charles Black, a GOP lobbyist and partner in the firm, recalled Mr. Stevens as a young political activist who was well connected among the Southern California-based entertainment industry, a rare inroad into a Democratic stronghold.

Fisher's publicist said Friday that the actress, who played Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars" trilogy and is the author of several books, including "Postcards From the Edge," is "distressed" and waiting to learn the cause of Mr. Stevens's death.

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