Mayville lawmaker resigns

BISMARCK—A Mayville lawmaker resigned Wednesday after 20 years in the state Senate.

Democrat Elroy Lindaas said he wanted to continue to serve, but his wife’s health concerns made it too difficult to continue.

“It hasn’t been possible for me to even attend some of the last committee meetings in Bismarck,” he said. “I thought maybe I could make suitable arrangements … I could finish out my term. Nothing satisfactory could be worked out.”

Lindaas said he sent a certified letter to Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, to announce his resignation. From there, his district will need to call a meeting and select a successor.

Lindaas became a state senator in 1990 after a special election. He said he’s pushed to put money toward K-12 and higher education throughout his years of service.

“I think that’s the best investment we can make,” he said. “It’s nice to have money in the bank, but at the same time, it gives us a better return when we’re investing it in something long term like education.”

Lindaas said he’s worked to address issues related to long-term care and the state’s aging population. He was also a strong advocate of clamping down on alcohol abuse in the state and has tried unsuccessfully to pass legislation with tougher penalties for those delivering alcohol to minors.

“There’s a lot of things that go unanswered that I would have liked to continue on, and hopefully somebody will pick up some of these ideas and they’ll gain some momentum and we’ll be successful in the end,” Lindaas said.

Lindaas said he’s grateful for his time served with his fellow lawmakers, particularly those from his district.

“I’ve been honored and been in a position that many people have tried to attain, and that is the Senate,” he said. “That’s been quite a privilege and honor for me.”

Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo, said Lindaas is level headed and will be missed.

“Elroy has been a very strong supporter of small colleges,” Mathern said. “He has been a very hard worker.”

Senate Minority Leader Ryan Taylor of Towner said Lindaas is “one of the most principled legislators I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.”

“He served his district and North Dakota with integrity and compassion for the people and families he represented,” Taylor said.