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Former State Senator Ted Kanavas dies at 56

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Ted Kanavas

MADISON — Former State Senator Ted Kanavas has passed away at the age of 56, after a battle with cancer.

Governor Scott Walker released the following statement  after learning of Kanavas’ passing:

“Ted Kanavas was a great man. He served his district and his state well. It was always a thrill to be around him. Tonette and I send our love and prayers to Mary and his family.”

Michael Best Strategies President Robert Marchant released the below statement on behalf of Kanavas’ family:

“Ted was a tremendous business partner and leader, but more than anything, he was a great man. He cared deeply about those close to him and always treated people with dignity and respect. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him both in the Senate and here at Strategies, and I will miss him dearly.”

Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson said in a statement:

“Ted’s passing comes too soon. His endless passion and energy for recognizing, engaging, and solving public problems, both as an elected official and a private citizen, made him remarkable. Ted loved life, his family, and the State of Wisconsin. We shared a commitment to public service and hope for a better future for our state and nation. Ted knew tomorrow can always be better than today. His life revealed and demonstrated this hope. I will miss my friend. My family can only share our sympathy at this difficult time and thank Ted’s for sharing him with all of us.”

Marchant offered the following biographical information about Kanavas:

“A former aide to Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Kanavas served Wisconsin’s 33rd Senate district from 2001 to 2010. During his tenure, Ted was a champion of economic development and technological issues, and authored the Angel Investment Tax Credit Act.

In 2014, Kanavas co-founded Michael Best Strategies, a government relations and public policy firm affiliated with nationally renowned law firm Michael Best & Friedrich, with David Krutz.

Kanavas was raised in Brookfield, WI, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He attended Pepperdine Law School before launching a successful private sector  career in the software industry. In 2005, Government Technology Magazine named him among the “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers.”

Kanavas resided in Brookfield with his wife, Mary. They have three children.

In recent years, Ted was a frequent guest host on Milwaukee’s WISN radio, and co-hosted the WisOpinion.com web show, “The Insiders.”

Last week, Kanavas was named chairman of Michael Best Strategies. Marchant succeeds him as the firm’s president.”