As we begin to see more and more news about elections, one particularly new member of the state legislative branch has emerged
: Saira Blair.
Blair is now the youngest lawmaker in West Virginia (and the nation), at age 18. She attracted attention from the nation earlier this year when she defeated incumbent senator Larry Krump, and now took down her Democratic opponent, Layne Diehl, by a hefty margin: 63% to 30% to 7% in a three way
“History has been made tonight in West Virginia, and while I am proud of all that we have accomplished together, it is the future of this state that is now my singular focus,” she said in a statement.
She will now represent the 59th District of West Virginia.
"It’s good, a sigh of relief. Just that, you know, after almost two years of working toward it, Election Day is here and past, and now I can start working towards bringing a better state to the people of West Virginia."
Blair ran her entire campaign out of her dorm room, and contributed $3,600 to her own campaign "to show people that [she] had skin in the game."
Blair attended class at West Virginia University this morning despite winning the election, and plans to defer her classes in the spring to attend the 60-day session and make it all up in the summer and fall. She intends to major in Economics.
"It was the same as any other day, just waking up and going to class. I want to make sure I can balance the two. I have to keep my grades up — there was no time to rest."
Blair's father, Craig, is also a state senator.
"He’s been one of my biggest role models. I’ve shadowed him for years, attended events, and developed a lot of my views around the ones I've seen him hold. We don’t agree on everything, but he has made a big impact on why I decided to run."
A lot of Blair's attention has come from her incredibly conservative views, mainly in the fiscal sector, but she is also socially conservative.
As for the rest of her political career?
"I do believe in term limits, so I won’t serve more than eight years in the House of Delegates. Then I believe in either moving up or moving out. I’m not looking to climb the ladder."
As much as I may disagree with her, I'm glad to see new fresh faces and the voice of youths being heard in more ways than one. I'm hoping we'll see more success stories emerge over the next few years!
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