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Published November 07, 2013, 05:55 PM

Bittersweet election for Hendrickson family

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - As one of Moorhead's new members of the city council, Chuck Hendrickson is riding a roller coaster of emotions this week.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - As one of Moorhead's new members of the city council, Chuck Hendrickson is riding a roller coaster of emotions this week.

In a matter of 24 hours, Hendrickson lost his mother, but celebrated his first election to political office.

Chuck Hendrickson knows tonight no one is prouder of his win than his mother who passed away hours before his election win Tuesday.

Chuck Hendrickson- New Moorhead Council Member: “Monday was probably one of the toughest days of my life; lost my mom and moved my dad into assisted living.”

As Chuck and his family spent the last day with his mother, Claire Hendrickson, a political activist herself, she told her son Chuck and his son Marty to get back out on the streets and campaign.

Hendrickson: “I would bend down and say, ‘Mom, I am running for election,’ and she said, ‘We’ll go out there and start doing some door-knocking.’”

Claire was a smart, feisty, die-hard Minnesota DFL-er.

Hendrickson: “Die-hard democrats, yep”

A valedictorian of her high school and nursing school, she worked as an RN, but was also a county DFL party chair. And so as returns came in election night, Chuck decided to go to bed, exhausted after saying good-bye to his mother, then his children awakened him to tell him he had won.

Hendrickson: “Then, everyone is happy and jumping around in the house. It was such a high after such a low I cannot describe; it is surreal.”

Chuck was with his mother as she died. Now the father of five knows he can honor her memory by hitting the ground running as a new council member in a town she loved.

Hendrickson: “I feel her right now. She is with me right now. She was such a strong woman; conviction when it came to her politics and her faith… A special lady.”

Hendrickson will serve a four-year term, and will take office after the first of the year.

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