Big congratulations are in order for 18-year-old college freshman Saira Blair, the youngest person ever elected to the West Virginia State Legislature in Tuesday’s elections. Even more impressive, Blair beat out a two-term Republican delegate in the May primaries at the age of 17.
To seal her standing in the West Virginia House of Delegates, Blair has a landslide victory under her belt. Blair won out against her 44-year-old opponent in the Democratic Party at 63 percent to 30 percent. Blair now holds the honor of being the youngest lawmaker elected in the United States.
This victory was not a fluke. Blair’s credibility speaks for itself. Blair aligns herself as a fiscally conservative candidate. Within her campaign, she pledged to work to reduce some business taxes. This campaign platform earned her several endorsements from West Virginians for Life, as well as an NRA “A” rating.
The fact that this young woman was able to secure a Republican state legislator seat is a major accomplishment. Blair plans to defer her spring semester freshman classes at West Virginia University, where she studies as an economics and Spanish major. Blair’s influence may have come from her father and campaign manager, Craig Blair, a West Virginia state senator.
Blair’s victory post on her official Facebook page reads, “I am honored and humbled to have been elected the youngest member to ever serve in the West Virginia House of Delegates.”
She continues, “When I made the decision to run for public office, I did so because I firmly believe that my generation’s voice, fresh perspective and innovative ideas can help solve some of our state’s most challenging issues.”
National Conference of State Legislatures’ records confirm that Blair will be America’s youngest state lawmaker out of more than 7,300 in the nation. NCSL analyst Morgan Cullen adds that fewer than 5 percent of state legislators are under the age of 30.
As Blair has already emphasized, her youth may be one of the biggest assets to her office. And lest anyone accuse the young politician of getting a free ride based on her father’s influence, Blair contributed close to $4,000 to her own political campaign.
This is a proud day for our country, regardless of political affiliation. The next time someone complains about “kids these days,” just remind them of Blair’s achievements. Blair is an excellent role model for today’s generation, and especially for young women.