WEST VIRGINIA – A West Virginia freshman who did most of her campaigning out of her dorm room became the youngest state lawmaker in the nation Tuesday.
Republican Saira Blair, a fiscally conservative 18-year-old, will represent a small district in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle, after defeating her Democratic opponent 63% to 30%, according to the Associated Press. A third candidate got 7% of the vote.
Blair campaigned on a pledge to work to reduce certain taxes on businesses, and she also holds antiabortion and pro-gun positions. In a statement, Blair thanked her supporters and family, as well as opponents for running a positive campaign.
Blair said, “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.”
Blair said she would defer her spring semester to attend the part-time legislature’s 60-day session and make up classes in the summer and fall. She promoted her youth as an asset during the campaign, saying the voice of the younger voters should be heard in the state capitol. An economics major, she hopes to become a financial planner, and she supports term limits. She also contributed nearly $4,000 to her campaign.