A widely respected and dedicated public servant, State Senator Richard Young, Jr., is a leading voice who sets the agenda and fights for issues important to all Hoosiers. Young represents Indiana Senate District 47 which encompasses portions of Crawford, Dubois, Harrison, Orange, Perry and Washington Counties.
Young entered the State Senate in 1988 when he was appointed to complete the unexpired term of then-Senator Frank O'Bannon. Young was elected to a full-term in 1990 and has been re-elected to six consecutive terms in the Senate. Young served as the Senate's Democratic Leader for twelve years from 1996 to 2008. In 2008 he was appointed to serve as Democratic Leader Emeritus.
Over the years, Young has worked on a variety of agricultural, community development, education, labor, health care and fiscal management issues. As Senate Democratic Leader, he earned praise by utilizing his expertise to forge an effective bridge between the often disparate views of the opposing party.
Young currently serves as the Ranking Democrat on the Senate's Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Senate Local Government Committee. He is a member of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee and Senate Insurance Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Indiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and the Administrative Rules Oversight Commission. He has also been appointed to serve on the Agriculture and Energy Committee and the Legislative Effectiveness Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories.
In 2009, Young founded the Indiana General Assembly's Rural Caucus, a bi-partisan group of legislators from the State Senate and State House of Representatives that acts as an advocate for the concerns and interests of rural communities.
Prior to joining the State Senate, Young was County Auditor of Crawford County for six years and served as the President and Board Chairman of E&S Distributors, Inc. In addition, Senator Young is owner of Blue River Valley Farm in Milltown.
Young has five adult children and his wife, Ashira, has two adult children. Together, they have ten grandchildren.