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Harold Burns, 86; former speaker of N.H. House

Mr. Burns was elected to the state Senate in 2000.

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Mr. Burns was elected to the state Senate in 2000.

CONCORD, N.H. — Harold Burns, a Whitefield Republican who served 14 terms in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and was its speaker for six years, has died. He was 86.

House Republican leader Gene Chandler said Sunday that Mr. Burns was a typical, down-to-earth New England politician.

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Chandler said that Mr. Burns never sought the limelight and thoughtfully considered the counsel of those around him.

In a 1995 Globe article, House Democratic leader Rick A. Trombley, a perennial opposition leader at the time, said of Mr. Burns: “What you see is what you get. I don’t think there’s any pretense. He’s a gentleman. He tries to treat people fairly.”

Mr. Burns was elected to the state Senate in 2000 before retiring two years later to return to the family insurance business.

Governor Maggie Hassan said Mr. Burns carried on a family legacy of dedicated service.

Last week, she signed a bill naming a Johns River bridge after the family.

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