Frederick Sen. Ron Young won’t seek re-election, endorses wife for seat

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Sen. Ron Young (D-Frederick County) walks through the Miller Senate Building in 2019. (Maryland Matters/Danielle E. Gaines)

This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

Frederick Sen. Ron Young (D) announced over the weekend that he will retire at the end of his term. Young endorsed Del. Karen Lewis Young (D), his wife, to succeed him in representing District 3 in the Senate.

“I think she’s by far the best person to follow me,” Young said in an interview on Sunday. “I can’t think of anyone who would do the job better.”

Lewis Young announced her candidacy for the position in June, though Ron Young wasn’t ready at that time to announce his retirement.

In a statement on his decision not to seek re-election, Young, who turned 81 last month, recounted his decades of public service. He was first elected to the city of Frederick’s Board of Aldermen in 1970 and served one term, before being elected the city’s mayor, an office he held until 1990. Young governed through a time that saw catastrophic flooding downtown, now controlled by a one-of-its-kind flood mitigation system, and the subsequent reconstruction of now-bustling Market Street.

During more than 50 years of public sector service, Young has also been a public school teacher, deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, deputy secretary and acting secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning, and town manager of Indian Head.

“I am privileged to have served my various constituents. I owe so many friends and supporters who have allowed me to represent them and partner with them since 1970,” Young said in a statement. “I am proud of the accomplishments we have made. Together we took Frederick City from very ominous days to a thriving, prosperous, livable community that is recognized as one of the best small cities in the country.”

Young was elected to the Senate in 2010. He won re-election in 2014 in what was the tightest Senate win that year, and thwarted an intensive drive by the state Republican Party to oust him in 2018. District 3 includes the city of Frederick and Urbana, areas that have become more Democratic in recent years.

Young said he remains committed to representing Frederick during the final year of his term. He also will be spending time on the campaign trail with Lewis Young.

“I’ll certainly work hard and campaign for her. I’ll work as hard as when I was running,” he said.

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