South Carolina state representative Ronnie Young passed away this weekend, multiple sources have confirmed to this news outlet.
Young, 71, had been battling pancreatic and liver cancer and was recently placed on hospice care. He died shortly after 4:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday at his home in North Augusta, S.C.
He made his last appearance at the S.C. State House on May 1 – less than three weeks ago.
Less than forty-eight hours before his passing, S.C. speaker of the House Jay Lucas presented Young with the Order of Palmetto – the Palmetto State’s highest civilian honor, which was awarded to him by S.C. governor Henry McMaster.
“Aiken County has lost one of its most loyal and beloved public servants,” McMaster tweeted. “Representative Ronnie Young’s mortal body could not keep pace with his indomitable spirit and tireless service.”
Lucas said McMaster told him the decision to honor Young was “the easiest decision that he ever had to make in his life.”
Young’s death creates a vacancy in S.C. House District 84 (map), which he represented beginning in May of 2017 after he won a special election after the resignation of former state representative Chris Corley.
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According to his hometown paper, The Aiken Standard, Young’s funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday May 24 at Christian Heritage Church (285 Ascauga Lake Road in Graniteville, S.C.).
Young’s family will receive visitors between 6:00 – 8:00 p.m, EST the previous evening (Thursday, May 23) at the same church.
Dates for another special election to fill this staunchly Republican seat will be announced soon by the S.C. Election Commission (SCVotes.org).
Prior to his election to the House, Young spent 21 years as chairman of the Aiken county council. He rose quickly through the ranks of the House, earning the first vice chairman’s position on the influential education committee.
Along with state representative Rita Allison, the chairwoman of that committee, Young was among the lawmakers primarily responsible for drafting the education legislation that has dominated headlines at the S.C. State House this year. That bill – H. 3759 – cleared the S.C. House in early March but failed to make it through the Senate.
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