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Saira Blair, 18 and Conservative, Becomes Nation's Youngest Lawmaker

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18 year old Republican Saira Blair, Martinsburg, W. Va. resident, gives an interview on the phone as she and her friends and supporters monitor the election counts at a gathering Tuesday evening Nov. 4, 2014 in Martinsburg, W.Va . (Ron Agnir/The Journal Newspaper/AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Nov 2014 10:53 AM

Saira Blair, 18, became the country's youngest lawmaker with her win in West Virginia's 59th delegate district on Tuesday.

The young Republican is a freshman at West Virginia University, and holds consistently conservative positions on fiscal matters, as well as gun rights, abortion, voter ID, and gay marriage.

"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 in a Wednesday interview, Politico reported. "I’d always known that I wanted to do it."

Running her campaign out of her dorm room with a $4,000 contribution she made herself, Blair unseated a two-term incumbent in a May primary, and went on to defeat her Democratic opponent, Layne Diehl, a 44-year-old Martinsburg attorney, 63 to 30 percent.

Even though Blair wasn't afraid to tout her social conservatism, she kept her campaign focus on the broader Republican message about jobs and the economy.

"I do stand behind my conservative social issues . . . I think those are important," she said. "I think what gets lost is the fiscal issues, and that’s really what I believe in. The biggest thing I want to see in West Virginia is jobs."

NBC News reported that, in addition to electing the youngest lawmaker in the country, the Republican Party this year also elected the youngest-ever U.S. congresswoman, 30-year-old Elise Stefanik; the party's first black congresswoman, Mia Love; and Lee Zeldin, who will replace Eric Cantor as the only Jewish Republican in Congress.

In statewide races, Joni Ernst became the first woman to represent Iowa in the Senate, and Shelley Moore Capito will serve as West Virginia's first female senator. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina became the first African-American elected to the Senate from the South post-Reconstruction. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, 37, will serve as the nations youngest senator.

Carl DeMaio, who is currently in the middle of a recount in San Diego, would become the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress should he win.



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Saira Blair, 18, became the country's youngest lawmaker with her win in West Virginia's 59th delegate district on Tuesday.
saira blair, youngest, lawmaker, 18
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2014-53-06
Thursday, 06 Nov 2014 10:53 AM
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