18-Year-Old Saira Blair Becomes Youngest Lawmaker
The teen won a seat in the West Virginia state legislature in a landslide vote on Election Day
We've all been 18. For most of us, it was a time of self-absorption, life-speculation, and graduation parties. Saira Blair had bigger plans. While her peers (and not enough of them) were gearing up to cast their first vote in the West Virginia state elections, college student Blair was busy securing her spot on the ballot. Persistence paid off, and last night she won a seat in West Virginia's state legislature, becoming the youngest legislator ever. Oh, and she didn't just win; she killed it, with 63 percent of the vote.
The remarkable teen started her political career early, winning the state primary when she was just 17-and below the legal voting age herself. She decided that she didn't want to just be an intern getting coffee for policy makers, she wanted to be the policy maker. In particular, she wanted to represent the interests of younger people-a group she feels is often overlooked. So she threw her hat in the ring, running her campaign out of her West Virginia University dorm room. (It's likely she got her passion for politics from her politician dad, Craig Blair. (See what other weird traits you inherit from your parents.)
People on both sides of the aisle (Blair is staunchly conservative) are excited to see someone taking such an early interest in the political process, and even Blair's opponent says she's proud of her. "Quite frankly a 17- or 18-year-old young woman that has put herself out there and won a political campaign has certainly brought some positive press to the state," Layne Diehl, the democrat Blair beat, told the Wall Street Journal. "I look forward to seeing what her leadership brings to the state of West Virginia."
In the meantime, Blair is doing her homework and studying up for finals. (She'll also want to brush up on leadership skills-though she's already nailed these 3 tips to be a better leader.) She plans to take a semester off to attend the part-time legislature's 60-day session and then make up her missed classes over the summer. We can't wait to see what she does next.