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Cass County Attorney Strandlie announces 2010 election bid

Cass County Attorney Christopher J. Strandlie announced Friday that he will seek election to retain his position as Cass County attorney.

Strandlie has been county attorney since March 2008, when he was unanimously appointed by the Cass County Board of Commissioners. The appointment came after former County Attorney Earl Maus was appointed district court judge.

"I have enjoyed the challenges that this job has presented," Strandlie said in a press release. "It has been interesting building a relationship with the county board and all of the other department heads. I also appreciate the importance of having hard-working, competent assistant attorneys and support staff."

Strandlie has been with the Cass County Attorney's Office since 2001; he served as first assistant from 2003 until 2008.

Prior to becoming county attorney, Strandlie said in a press release, his primary focus was on the prosecution of violent and controlled substance crimes.

During his tenure, Strandlie said, he has represented Cass County in nearly every case imaginable, from petty misdemeanor traffic tickets to first-degree murder.

"Successful prosecutions come from good police work," he said, noting the importance of maintaining communication with the various law enforcement agencies. "We are very fortunate in this county to have extremely competent law enforcement officers conducting investigations."

Strandlie is a member of the Working Together Coalition and Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs and Zero Alcohol Providers groups, which focus on educating our youth about the risks and consequences of alcohol consumption, educating children about alternatives to drinking, and prosecuting those who provide the alcohol.

Strandlie said his office is in the process of implementing a Domestic Violence Court, which would provide enhanced supervision and consequences to domestic violence offenders. The County Attorney's Office is also has Wellness Court, a collaboration between the Cass County and the Leech Lake Tribal Courts, which provides intensive supervision of qualified repeat driving while intoxicated offenders.

"We continuously work to find solutions to the relationship of drugs and alcohol to all crimes but especially to domestic violence," he said.

Strandlie was born and raised in Walker, having graduated from Walker-Hackensack High School in 1984. He joined the U.S. Army shortly after graduation and served until being honorably discharged in 1986. He returned to Walker in 1995 and entered a private law practice after completing law school at the University of North Dakota. He continued to work in private practice until hired by Cass County.

He is a member of the Walker Fire Department, the Walker American Legion, Northstar Sportsman's Club, the Minnesota County Attorney's Association and Hope Lutheran Church of Walker. He served on the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School Board and served as the president of the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. He also volunteers as a youth hockey coach and sits on several local nonprofit boards and committees.

He and his wife Erica, live in Walker and have four children - Sarah, 14; Caleb, 11; Benjamin, 8; and Abigale, 6.