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Former GOP House leader, Earl Strinden, passes

Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library.

Former North Dakota House Majority Leader Earl Strinden has died.

He was 90.

The Grand Forks Republican was first elected to the North Dakota Legislature in 1966. He served until 1988. He was the Republican House leader since 1975. Strinden ran for US Senate in 1988, but was defeated by incumbent Democratic Senator Quentin Burdick.

The long time editorial page editor of the Forum – Jack Zaleski – said he remembers Strinden has a hard worker, who was a “one of a kind” leader.

"A leader who knew how to reach across the aisle, a leader who knew how to marshal his troops when he needed to get something done, and a leader who, I think, always had North Dakota's best interest at heart," Zaleski said. "You could disagree with him politically, but you never doubted his sincerity about doing what he believed was the right thing for the people of this state. You have to admire that."

Strinden also served as the CEO of the UND Alumni Association, from 1969 to 2000. In a statement, the current CEO of the Alumni Association and Foundation, DeAnna Carlson Zink, called Strinden "a mentor." She said Strinden would often say that a goal in life is to “leave the woodpile higher for those that came after us.” She said Strinden did that.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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