With Conyers out, Young becomes ‘dean of the House’

Rep. Don Young in his Washington, D.C. office. Photo: Liz Ruskin

Alaska Congressman Don Young is now the longest serving member of Congress. Or he will be shortly.

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Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., announced he’s retiring as of Tuesday. So Young inherits the symbolic title of “dean of the House of Representatives.” That gives him one ceremonial role: swearing in the Speaker of the House.

Young is 84. He’s been in office since March 1973, pre-dating any other current member, House or Senate.

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org.

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