Longtime North Dakota politician dies

 Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

A longtime politician in North Dakota has died.

Mark Andrews, who served in the United States Congress from 1963 until 1987, died on Saturday at the age of 94.

According to his obituary from Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home, Andrews was elected to the Eighty-Eighth United States Congress by special election October 22, 1963 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Representative Hjalmar Nygaard; he was re-elected to eight succeeding congresses serving North Dakota in the United States House of Representatives from October 22, 1963 until January 3, 1981. He was elected to the United States Senate in November 1980 with 70 percent of the vote and served North Dakota there from January 3, 1981 to January 3, 1987.

State and federal elected officials have issued statements remembering Andrews.

“Mark Andrews was a giant to me. He was the first U.S. Senator I ever met. I am honored to have worked for him and to have known him. Together, Mark and Mary were a political force for good, always putting the interests of North Dakota first. Thank you, Mark," Senator Kevin Cramer said.

Cramer's fellow Senator, John Hoeven, said, "Senator Mark Andrews was a strong leader and dedicated public servant, who served the people of North Dakota in Congress for decades. He was a tireless advocate for our men and women in uniform and understood the importance of a strong national defense, having served in Congress during the Cold War.  As a farmer himself, he will be remembered for his hard work on behalf of agriculture and his work to support our state’s farmers and ranchers. I am grateful for his service to our state and nation. He was a good friend and will be missed. Mikey and I extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Representative Kelly Armstrong, the third of North Dakota's Congressional delegation, said, "Senator Andrews was one of the finest public servants and North Dakotans I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. North Dakota is a better place because of him and he will be sorely missed."

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum also issued a statement.

“Mark Andrews was a longtime family friend, a dedicated public servant and an unflinching champion for North Dakota for more than two decades in Congress,” Burgum said. “Whether he was fighting on behalf of our state’s farmers, supporting our military during the Cold War or working hard to keep the federal budget in check, Mark always had the best interests of North Dakotans at heart. Kathryn and I extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the Andrews family as they mourn their loss and celebrate Mark’s incredible life and legacy. We will miss him dearly.”

Due to the Covid Pandemic, there will be a private family service which will be simulcast-and/or available for later viewing by friends who may wish to join in the celebration of Mark’s life. The link to the simulcast can be found at www.hansonrunsvold.com and will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m.