While her peers exercised their rights to vote for the first-time, 18-year old Saira Blair decided to take things to the next level, winning a seat in West Virginia’s House of Delegates. She beat 66-year old Republican, Larry Kump, in the primary elections as a high school senior at the age of 17.
Saira is currently enrolled in her freshman year at West Virginia University, majoring in Economics and Spanish. Taking a semester off is not very uncommon for students, but taking a semester off to attend a 60-day spring session at the House of Delegates as its youngest member is quite another story altogether.
After writing a new chapter in West Virginia’s history, Blair is now determined to bring about many more changes to the future of the state. Now also the youngest lawmaker out of more than 7,000 in the country, Saira Blair humbly began her campaign while still in high school, beating Democratic opponent Layne Diehl with a 63 percent vote in West Virginia’s District 59.
Blair firmly believes that the younger generation should play a more active role in the country’s politics. The average age in Congress is 57 and 62 in the US Senate, yet despite all of this experience, Blair points out, the nation has more debts and less jobs. One of her primary focus is the mass migration of young job seekers out of West Virginia due to lack of opportunities.
A lot of Blair’s views do not reflect those of many in her generation, but Blair strongly asserts that she is more of a traditionalist in some aspects and that is the way forward. She is pro-life, pro-business, pro-gun, believes marriage is an union of man and woman as husband and wife under God, and strongly supports drug testing for welfare recipients.
Saira Blair hopes to have a career in financial advising, and does not think of politics as a long-time career. Her father, Craig Blair, is a State Senator and her campaign manager and Blair has, from an early, age understood the necessity of her generation’s voice being heard in a political system dominated by those over the age of 40. She is also certain that many of her generation believe in her views, but are hesitant about the freely expressing their views because collectively the generation tends to react negatively to certain views.
Before resuming classes in summer, Blair looks forward to meeting her fellow delegates, and is determined to be not views as merely an 18-year-old, but to be recognized as the strong and visionary new member of the House of Delegates that she is.