Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Meet The 18-Year-Old Who Just Got Elected To The West Virginia State Legislature

Saira Blair didn't turn 18 — the legal voting age — until a few short months before the 2014 midterm elections. Tuesday, she won the election for West Virginia's 59th House District.

Facing off against Democratic candidate Layne Diehl in a state that has turned red in recent years, the West Virginia University freshman became the youngest state lawmaker in the nation after sweeping 63% of the vote. Blair will represent a small district in West Virginia's eastern panhandle, about one-and-a-half hours outside the nation's capital, according to the Associated Press.

In a statement, the Republican teen said, "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. I am honored and humbled to have been elected."

Blair, who characterizes herself as a pro-life, pro-family, and pro-jobs fiscal conservative, decided to run when she took a hard look at the reality that faced her and her peers after graduation. She realized the solution was to make West Virginia more business-friendly.

"You can get a good education in W.V. if you choose to. What is difficult to get is a good paying job," Blair told Business Insider. "Students are our greatest export, and I want to work to address that issue through tax reforms, judicial reforms, and reducing government bureaucracy in an effort to attract more businesses to the state."

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