The Young Republicans (YRs) are the oldest political youth organization in the United States. Important to the growth of the Republican Party, the YRs reach out to registered Republicans, 18 to 40 years of age, and provide them with better political knowledge and understanding of the issues of the day.
The first Young Republican club was established in 1856 in support of the newly formed Republican Party and the abolitionist movement. It was not until 1931 that the YRs were organized nationally. West Point graduate George H. Olmsted began to attract the attention of the leaders of the national Republican Party, and he was invited to meet with President Herbert Hoover at the White House. President Hoover, so impressed with his visit with Olmsted, asked the young man to head the Young Republican division of the Republican Party, which Olmsted did. In 1935, the Young Republican division officially became the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF), and the YRNF elected Olmsted as the organization’s first chairman.
Since its creation, the YRNF has established itself as the premier Republican grassroots organization in the nation, providing essential grassroots support for Republican candidates and conservative issues on the local, state and national levels.
The YRNF has a solid record of producing future Republican Party leaders – including Governors, Senators, Congressmen, nationally recognized campaign consultants, and community leaders.
Through recruiting, training and mobilizing people, the YRNF presents an opportunity for ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Through community involvement in political issues, charitable projects and participation in political campaigns, YRs work to improve the world in which we live.
While the YRs are best known for political activism and service to our communities, YR events also provide a great opportunity for interaction amongst membership. This interaction allows for the exchange of ideas, networking, and friendships that will last a lifetime.
The YRs provide different opportunities for different people. No matter what your long-term goals may be, the YRs serve as the building blocks for a successful future.
Rick Loughery is the national chairman of the Young Republicans, making history as the first chairman to be unanimously elected in 2019 and unanimously re-elected in 2021. As chairman, Rick has set an aggressive agenda for the Young Republican National Federation to increase engagement with young conservatives and double its membership, train one million young leaders and activists, recruiting young candidates to run for office, and make a big impact electing Republicans across the country. For the first time in the organization’s history, the Young Republican National Federation unanimously adopted national goals to strengthen the organization and support Republicans up and down the ballot. In 2020, the Young Republican National Federation deployed volunteers into 25 states over 10 weeks during the fall campaign with Young Republicans making more than 23 million voter contacts, sending 24 Young Republicans to Congress and thousands of Young Republicans to state legislatures. Rick has committed Young Republicans to building a better, stronger GOP and elevating Young Republicans as party leaders now and into the future. To fulfill that mission, Rick launched “YRs Run” in 2021, a national initiative to run more Young Republicans for public and party office than ever before!
Previously the state chair of the Pennsylvania Young Republicans, Rick rebuilt the organizational structure, created more opportunities for young conservatives to get involved within the Republican Party and made more than one million voter contacts by Young Republicans in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was recognized as the nation’s best Young Republican organization in 2018 and Rick was personally presented with the inaugural General George H. Olmsted Award for exceptional leadership by the Young Republican National Federation.
In November 2011, Rick became the youngest county official in Pennsylvania when he was elected as the Recorder of Deeds for Chester County. As Recorder, Rick established a new program honoring our veterans and built partnerships to prevent real estate fraud. He was re-elected in 2015 and, over his two terms in office, he has saved more than $21 million dollars to help the county balance its budget and keep taxes low. In 2017, Rick was recognized by the American Society for Public Administration with the Excellence in Local Government Award.
Rick earned his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Rick is active within the community and has been recognized as an emerging leader and distinguished young professional.
The Young Republican national leadership team is a creative and successful powerhouse representing Young Republicans across America!
Senior Leadership Team with Chairman Rick Loughery (standing middle), CoChair Hayden Padgett (standing left), Vice Chair Lila Nieves-Lee (not shown), Treasurer Spencer Head (standing right) and Secretary Desiree Brown (seated left), Executive Director Evan Young (seated right)
Board of Directors with Chairman Rick Loughery (standing middle), CoChairman Hayden Padgett (standing 5th from the left), Vice Chairwoman Lila Nieves Lee (not shown), Treasurer Spencer Head (standing 4th from the right), Secretary Desiree Brown (seated 2nd from left), Assistant Secretary Dalton Glasscock (not shown), Assistant Treasurer Jack Blakely (standing 3rd from right), Midwest Vice Chair Abby Oliver (seated right), Northeast Vice Chair Joe Paru (not shown), South Vice Chair Thomas Turner (standing right), West Vice Chair Grayson Massey (standing left), Auditor Jessica Fernandez (seated 2nd from right), SCA Chair Nik Rettinger (standing 4th from the left), Executive Director Evan Young (standing 2nd from right), General Counsel Ross Wolfe (standing 2nd from left), Deputy Executive Director Dylan Blanchard (standing 3rd from left), California State Chair Taylor Strand (seated left)
1931 – 1936 Gen. George H. Olmsted, IA
1936 – 1938 J. Kenneth Bradley, CT
1938 – 1941 Donald Hornbeck, OH
1941 – 1946 Gordon Allott, CO
1946 – 1949 Ralph E. Becker, NY
1949 – 1951 John Tope, MI
1951 – 1953 Herbert Warburton, DE
1953 – 1955 Sullivan Barnes, SD
1955 – 1957 Charles K. McWhorter, NY
1957 – 1959 Congressman John M. Ashbrook, OH
1959 – 1961 Ned Cushing, KS
1961 – 1963 Len Nadasdy, MI
1963 – 1965 Donald E. “Buz” Lukens, OH
1965 – 1967 Tom Van Sickle, KS
1967 – 1969 Jack McDonald, TN
1969 – 1971 Ron Romans, NE
1971 – 1973 Governor Donald K. Sundquist, TN
1973 – 1975 Richard “Dick” Smith, FL
1975 – 1977 Jack Mueller, WY
1977 – 1979 Roger J. Stone, Jr., VA
1979 – 1981 Richard B. Abell, PA
1981 – 1983 David H. Barron, SC
1983 – 1985 Stephen R. Clark, IL
1985 – 1987 Marilyn R. Hudson, KS
1987 – 1989 Richard Jacobs, TN
1989 – 1991 Terry Campo, VA
1991 – 1993 Enid Greene, UT
1993 – 1995 Irv Biznov, TX
1995 – 1997 Larry Kidwell, TN
1997 – 1999 Monica Samuels, TX
1999 – 2001 Rep. Kevin McCarthy, CA
2001 – 2003 Dee Dee Benkie, IN
2003 – 2005 Michael Mack, CA
2005 – 2007 Nicolee Ambrose, MD
2007 – 2009 Jessica Colon, TX
2009 – 2010 Audra Shay, LA
2010 – 2013 Lisa Stickan, OH
2013 – 2015 Jason Weingartner, NY
2015 – 2017 Dennis Cook, IL
2017 – 2019 Jason Emert, TN
2019 – Present Rick Loughery, PA
The Young Republicans are fighting for the future of the Republican Party. Together, our mission is to recruit new Young Republicans and engage young voters with the Republican Party, train the future leaders of the United States, and elect Republican candidates from the top to the bottom of the ballot across the country!