County in West Virginia Falls in Love with Young Politician

It seems that politicians are getting younger and younger every day—at least, that’s the case in West Virginia (and an episode of Parks and Recreation). 18-year old Saira Blair, a freshman at West Virginia University, set precedents in elections last month when she became the youngest member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, also known as the lower house of the West Virginia Legislature.

Blair, a conservative Republican, won almost 63% of the vote in her district. Democrat Layne Diehl lost to Blair when the former was still 17 years old. Blair spent about $15,000 total on both the primary and general elections. Less than 5,000 people voted in the district elections, and 1,600 in the primaries. Her county is 88.6% white.

“This campaign is not about me, it’s about you and about us demonstrating to today’s youth that you don’t have to wait until you’re 40, 50, or 60 to understand the value of conservative principles!” Blair says on her campaign website.

“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,” Blair wrote in a Facebook post on November 4.

Blair is following in her father’s political footsteps—Craig Blair is a West Virginia state senator. She recognizes the commitment she’s making on her website, claiming (apparently before she’d been elected), “If elected, I will attend WVU during the FAll Semester, defer the Spring Semester and attend summer classes. I already know the ropes and I can multitask too.”

One of Business Insider’s Most Impressive High School Graduates, Blair “was surprised that the people in my community understood that someone as young as I am could share their conservative beliefs.”

“I am a proud constitutional conservative. I’m Pro Life. I’m Pro Marriage. I’m Pro Family. I’m Pro Second Amendment. And I’m Pro Business.”

Blair believes it is important to “acknowledge and continue abiding by the rules and fundamental rights our forefathers set in place” in the Constitution, and to have a balanced federal budget to “limit the government’s ability to spend taxpayer money recklessly.” Recklessly, in Blair’s opinion, includes funding abortion.

She states, “Our government must recognize the importance and wisdom of God’s Ten Commandments for our nation to thrive,” and that “Marriage is the holy union of a man and a woman as husband and wife under God.”

She wants photo identification for voters to be required, as well as “random drug testing with required rehabilitation programs for welfare recipients who test positive,” and “term limits for election officials.” She is against West Virginia’s Common Core State Standards.

Conservative politics aside, we can only hope that she won’t pull an Icetown like a certain Parks & Recreation character.

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About Amanda Braitman

Amanda began her illustrious writing career at the tender age of seven with a beautiful debut titled Flowers, illustrated by the author herself, who is by no means, as they say, “une artiste.” She went on to co-author a book in the third grade about why people with curly hair want straight hair, and why people with straight hair want curly hair—the work was an instant success and sold millions. Amanda has taken a hiatus from novel writing for the last nine years, supposedly to “concentrate on schoolwork,” as she said in an interview with the Paris Review. However, sources tell us that she’s secretly been compiling stories for a massive anthology. We’ll see. Amanda currently resides in Hillsborough, California with her mother and her hyperactive dog, and sometimes she tries to feed the cat who lives next door, but the cat isn’t very friendly.

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