For most of its statehood, Alaska's lone congressman has been Rep. Don Young (R), 86, and on Wednesday, Young became the longest-serving Republican in House history, passing former Speaker Joseph Cannon (Ill.).
Young's 46 years in Congress — he has held the seat since 1973 — put him just a year and a half behind the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), the longest-serving Senate Republican (though Thurmond spent the first several years of his tenure as a Democrat). But both lag far behind former Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who served 59 years in the House. Dingell died last month.
During a ceremony marking Young's longevity on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) thanked him for being "a leader of merit and character."
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