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B&E freshman is nation’s youngest lawmaker

Saira Blair

Saira Blair will represent a small district in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle in the state House of Delegates starting in January. At 18, this B&E freshman is the youngest lawmaker in the United States.

On the November 4 evening she was elected, Blair said, “History has been made tonight in West Virginia, and while I am proud of all that we have accomplished together, it is the future of this state that is now my singular focus.”

She gained national attention in May when, at age 17, she defeated the 66-year-old Republican incumbent in the primary election for the 59th District seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates. According to records kept by the National Conference of State Legislatures, she is the youngest of more than 7,300 state legislators in the U.S., and fewer than 5% are under the age of 30.

Blair said she would defer her spring semester to attend the part-time legislature’s 60-day session, and plans to make up classes in the summer and fall. “I’ll continue that pattern for the next four years, and if I can take some online classes during the spring, then I will,” she said. “I have all my classes planned out for the next four years, and I should only finish a semester late – in December 2018 – with that schedule.”

She promoted her youth during her campaign, emphasizing that the voice of younger voters should be heard at the West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston. An economics major, she hopes to become a financial planner.