US House honors Alaska's Don Young as newest dean

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska's lone member of the U.S. House was honored Wednesday for becoming its longest serving member.

U.S. Rep. Don Young succeeds 88-year-old Rep. John Conyers as dean, largely a ceremonial post whose main duty is to swear in the House speaker after elections. Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, cited health reasons when resigning last month, but he was also facing sexual harassment allegations.

Young, an 84-year-old Republican, has served in the House since 1973. House Speaker Paul Ryan noted Wednesday was Young's 16,374th day in office.

Known for a gruff demeanor, Young told his colleagues he will not change as dean: He will still holler, he will still at times get out of line.

But if that happens, he says that action comes from his heart, adding: "My heart is in this House."

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