Saira Blair has made history. The 18-year-old freshman from West Virginia University is now the youngest elected politician in America. She defeated 44-year-old Democrat Layne Diehl to represent West Virginia's small 59th District in the state's House of Delegates.
On her Facebook page, Blair wrote that she was "honored" and "humble" to have made history.
For far too long, West Virginians have been burdened by high unemployment, a sluggish economy, and a government unwilling to listen to the needs of its citizens, she wrote. 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, a Republican, had a pretty conservative platform. On her website, she declared her support for the 2nd Amendment (pro-gun), same-sex marriage, the requirement of photo voter identification, and she's pro life.
Even though many millennials tend to support more liberal values, Blair's platform also included attracting young people to West Virginia.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Blair said, "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."
Majoring in economics and Spanish, Blair hopes to someday become a financial planner.