Eighteen year-old Saira Blair made history in the recent midterm elections, becoming the youngest elected legislator in U.S. history. Blair, a freshman at West Virginia University, was elected as a delegate in the West Virgina house, after winning the election with 63 percent of the vote. She began her political race in May of this year when she beat a two-time incumbent for the Republican nomination. Blair most recently dropped jaws when she beat out a 44-year-old Democratic attorney Layne Diehl for the spot in the House.
“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,” said Blair in a speech made after the election.
Throughout her entire campaign, Blair’s main focus and goal centered around making West Virginia and the Republican party in general more welcoming to young adults and women especially. Now an elected offical, she plans to continue this platform throughout her term.
This marks a great stride for women in politics, showing that age discrimination is not present for those barely 18, and that the people have elected this young woman in hopes of effective change from a different, but perhaps a potentially necessary perspective in the evolving world of politics.
During her campaign this past summer she spoke to Teen Vogue about her thoughts on Congress: “The average age in Congress is 57, and the average age in the U.S. senate is 62, but with all of that experience, we’ve only gotten more debt and less jobs. I don’t see how I could possibly hurt anything by being young and coming in with a fresh perspective. West Virginia’s population hasn’t grown since 1980, and if we continue to stay where we are, we’re not going to keep young people in the state.”
You go girl!