Republican Saira Blair won the election for West Virginia’s 59th House District on Tuesday, making her the youngest state lawmaker at just 18.
She defeated Democrat Layne Diehl, a 44-year-old attorney. According to Business Insider, West Virginia only recently became more Republican. Even so, Blair won 63 percent of the vote.
In May, the young state lawmaker beat the 66-year-old Republican incumbent in a primary. At the time she was 17 and still in high school.
Blair is a freshman at West Virginia University. She did most of her campaigning outside her dormitory.
Her father is West Virginia State Senator Craig Blair.
Saira Blair’s district is small and about an hour and a half outside Washington D.C., according to the Associated Press.
The teenager said she made the decision to run 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 describes herself as a pro-jobs fiscal conservative. She noticed many of her friends had to leave her home state after graduation due to a lack of jobs. The 18-year-old wanted to change that by making West Virginia more business-friendly. Her plan is to reduce certain taxes on businesses.
She’s an economics major with a goal to become a financial planner.
Besides pro-business, Blair says she is pro-life, pro-family, and pro-gun.
Despite her loss, Diehl congratulated Blair on the win. “I’m very proud of the race that was run on both sides. 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.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Blair said she would defer her spring semester to attend the part-time legislature’s 60-day session. She plans to make up her classes in the summer and fall.
Even though she’s a college student, Saira Blair contributed $4,000 to her own campaign.
One Twitter user may some up the youngest state lawmaker best:
I'm 25 & just ate 2 Kit-Kats in 42 seconds flat. RT @april_kaull: 18 year old WVU freshman Saira Blair wins a seat in the House of Delegates
— Brian Gawthrop (@gawthrop5) November 5, 2014