Saira Blair will turn 18-years-old in July and in November it is very likely that the teen will set a record as the youngest state lawmaker in West Virginia’s history. Saira Blair, a conservative, already unseated the incumbent, Del. Larry Krump, in the GOP primary less than a month before her high school graduation. She narrowly surpassed Krump by about 150 votes from West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle primary on Tuesday, The Spokesman reported.
Saira Blair is running on a very basic platform. Blair says she is pro-family, pro-life, pro-guns, and pro-business. At a time when voters in her districts are very concerned with Second Amendment protection, chances are good the teen will beat her more liberal opponent in this fall’s election.
Blair’s father is an electrician and a state senator in West Virginia, according to Huffington Post. Before his work as a state senator, Craig Blair held the House seat that Saira will likely fill in the next term. Saira will be challenging Democrat Layne Diehl this fall.
“A lot of my friends around the state have been able to find a good education in the state of West Virginia, but they haven’t been able to get a job,” Saira Blair said. She thinks her youth will work to the people’s advantage citing that she doesn’t have as many biases. She says that her position representing the people is something she is capable of, stating that it “isn’t rocket science” if representatives would just listen to the requests of the people they are elected to represent.
Many of Saira’s supporters were not old enough to vote in the primary, but will be 18-years-old by the election. Blair has encouraged these soon-to-be adults to register to vote. “It’s wonderful that my generation is learning they don’t have to be 40, 50 or 60 to realize these conservative values benefit them,” Saira told NPR.
One might assume that the teen took to social media to win the primary, but surprisingly, she had a fairly mild social media presence. Saira went door-to-door asking for votes during the GOP primary campaign and mailed out handwritten letters instead.
Her father did help with her campaign, but the consensus of everyone involved is that elections are often a family affair. After all, Saira went to meetings, campaign events and held up signs for her father when she was a little girl and he was campaigning in West Virginia. The incumbent she unseated could have mocked Saira’s father’s campaigning help, but instead, Krump said, “There would be something wrong with a dad who wasn’t willing to help his daughter.” Krump accepted his defeat graciously. “She mobilized her people; she was effective. She just did a better job of campaigning,” Krump said.
Even Saira’s opponent is supportive of the youth’s political interests. Layne Diehl, the democratic candidate, said she admires Saira for her interests in civics at such a young age. Besides for living the life of a West Virginia state senator’s daughter, Saira Blair’s experience in politics also includes being elected president of the Key Club at Hedgesville High School, a position that has kept her busy this month as her class wraps up their senior year.