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May 3, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS—Though it might seem a bit stuffy in the U.S. Senate, one sweet tradition is getting passed down to Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana (above).

In the Senate Chamber, there’s a longstanding tradition of one desk—the official “candy desk”—being stocked full of treats from its owner’s home state.

For eight years, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, had the honor of bringing his state’s sweets to Washington, D.C., but the role now goes to Young.

The tradition started back in 1965 when Sen. George Murphy, R-California, a Hollywood actor and politician, kept hard candy in his desk. Many believe Murphy did so because he had had an intensive vocal cord surgery.

Murphy’s desk was right by the Chamber’s most frequently used door, so he experienced all kinds of foot traffic. Offering up some candy to lawmakers who walked by, Murphy became known for keeping his desk stocked.

Carrying on his legacy, senators who took his desk after his time always made a point to carry on the sweet-tooth tradition.

The candy desk recipient doesn’t always have to be seated in Murphy’s exact spot but in the same general area right by the main doors to the Chamber. The only other Hoosier to occupy the desk was former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, from 1977 to 1979.

Young plans to bring a taste of home with him to Washington, highlighting confectioners across the state.

“Candy manufacturers across Indiana are producing amazing treats, and my goal is to spotlight these unique products made and distributed by Hoosiers,” Young said in a press release. “The candy desk is a popular destination for senators from both sides of the aisle, and I’m excited to share Hoosier candies with my colleagues.

 “Perhaps a taste of Hoosier hospitality will sweeten the sometimes bitter divide in Washington.”

The candy desk will be stocked with Indiana candies from Hoosier confectioners, including:

While politics isn’t always sweet, Hoosier-made candy sure is.

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