18-Year-Old Saira Blair Declares Victory in West Virginia Elections

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Saira Blair was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates by a huge majority, earning 63 percent of the vote over her democratic opponent’s mere 30 percent. What makes her victory remarkable is the fact that Blair is only 18, making her the youngest lawmaker in the country. She ran her campaign out of her dorm room at West Virginia University, where she studies economics and Spanish. 

Blair, whose father, Craig, is a state senator, will be representing about 18,000 people from the 59th district, which is near the Maryland border. Her website indicates she is constitutionally conservative and espouses anti-abortion, pro-gun and anti-marriage equality views. In fact, her website features her “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. Blair campaigned to reduce certain business taxes, which contributed to her success in the increasingly red state. 

Layne Diehl, Blair’s 44-year-old democratic opponent, was congratulatory when she discussed Blair’s victory.

“I’m very proud of the race that was run on both sides,” Diehl said. “Quite frankly a 17- or 18-year-old young woman that has put herself out there and won a political campaign has certainly brought some positive press to the state. I look forward to seeing what her leadership brings to the state of West Virginia.”

This isn’t the first time Blair has made political waves. In May, she beat out the 66-year-old Republican incumbent in a primary when she was only 17-years-old too young to vote for herself. 

Blair, who is taking a break from school so she can attend the legislative session at the state capitol this spring, contributed nearly $4,000 to her own campaign.

“Candidates should have some skin in the game,” Blair said. “I wanted voters to know I was serious.”

She supports term limits and hopes to become a financial planner after her work on capitol hill is done. 

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, Blair for West Virginia

Image via Associated Press