Washington, D.C (KINY) Don Young, 84, is now the longest serving member of the US House after the retirement of John Conyers of Michigan.
Dean of the house is a mostly ceremonial post whose official duty is to swear in the House speaker after elections. Unofficially he is in charge of civility in the house and holding members accountable for their actions.
Young has been in office for 44 years and has rarely faced any significant opponent for re-election. One of the closest elections came in 2008 when Lt. Governor Sean Parnell challenged him in the Republican primary. He was first elected in 1973 and has served 16,374 days in office, survived nine hosue speakers and voted alongside over 2,000 fellow representatives during his career.
Only 28 people have served over 40 years in the house.