William L. Guy (AP Photo/Will Kincaid, File)
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - William L. Guy, North Dakota's longest serving governor, died Friday. He was 93.
His death was confirmed Friday afternoon by former U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, who had spoken to Guy's family members. The cause of death wasn't immediately known.
"Bill Guy was a giant," Conrad told the Associated Press. "All of us who served in office stood on his shoulders."
Guy was elected to four terms in office from 1960 through 1972, but two of his races were for two-year terms. North Dakota's governorship did not carry a four-year term until 1964.
The State Historical Society said Guy's election as governor on the Democratic-Non Partisan League ticket established the two-party system in North Dakota, which had been largely dominated by Republican politics.
In a 2004 article for North Dakota History, a historical society publication, Guy said the state had a deep liberal tradition, including a state-run bank, mill and elevator , all established by the Democratic-Non Partisan League.
"I think I saw (entering politics) as an opportunity to change some of the things that were being done in North Dakota, and to hopefully change North Dakota's thinking toward national politics," he said in the article.
Conrad said Guy was a remarkable leader.
"He had a vision of developing North Dakota, and he never wavered in pursuit of that," Conrad said. "We all owe him and Jean a deep debt of gratitude."
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