18-Year-Old College Freshman Elected to West Virginia House

November 6, 2014

Saira Blair is probably the only candidate who had to head to class the morning after winning an election.

But that’s to be expected for the 18-year-old, who just became the country’s youngest state lawmaker.

“I actually had a couple of geology classes this morning,” Blair, a Republican who was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates, said in an interview Wednesday. “It was fine, just like any other day of class.”

Blair is like many other people her age except that in addition to preparing for her freshman year at college this past summer, she was also running a political campaign. Blair, elected Tuesday to represent West Virginia’s 59th delegate district — which lies about 1½ hours from Washington, D.C. — is an economics major at West Virginia University. Blair trounced her Democratic opponent 63 percent to 30 percent, The Associated Press reported.

She said her interest in politics started long before her election to the 100-member state legislature.

“I’d been involved with [politics] since I was about 6 years old, when my father first ran for [the West Virginia] House of Delegates. I wasn’t new to the world [of state politics]; I’d gone to the meetings, to dinners, and really been involved with the life for over 10 years, just kind of shadowing him,” Blair said. “I’d always known that I wanted to do it.”

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