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Honoring Edward A. Burdick

published 1/10/2005
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On a day that saw overviews in a couple of House committees, and a short floor session, the highlight came when all meetings were complete.

The House was filled with laughter, love and tears as part of a celebration for Edward A. Burdick, who has retired after more than 60 years of service, including the last 38 as chief clerk. Gov. Tim Pawlenty called Burdick, "A Minnesota icon and a Minnesota institution."

Praise for Burdick, 83, came from both sides of the aisle, including Pawlenty; House Speaker Steve Sviggum; former House speakers Rod Searle, David Jennings, Dee Long, Bob Vanasek, Phil Carruthers and current Rep. Irv Anderson; Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson and Kathleen Blatz, chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

"Ed is the spirit of the Minnesota House of Representatives," said Rep. Ron Abrams (R-Minnetonka).

Added House Minority Leader Matt Entenza (DFL-St. Paul): "Minnesota is called the Star of the North and Ed, you are our rock star. You held us together."

Entenza also talked about a time when he questioned a decision of the speaker. "When I heard the recommendation of the speaker was (Ed's) recommendation, I knew I was wrong."

"Many times around here things were resolved because Ed said so," said Pawlenty, who noted that Burdick served the state for 43 percent of its days since statehood. "Can you imagine someone saying because Steve (Sviggum) said so, or Matt (Entenza) said so or Erik (Paulsen) said so?"

- Mike Cook


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