CHARLESTON, W.Va. (CBSDC/AP) — Eighteen-year-old Saira Blair will become the youngest state lawmaker in West Virginia history.
The Republican defeated Democrat Layne Diehl on Tuesday to win a seat in the state House of Delegates to become the youngest state lawmaker in the U.S..
“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,” Blair said in a statement. “Since launching my campaign, I have met with and listened to the concerns of my fellow citizens, and as your delegate I will work tirelessly, and fight for each and every one of you. Now, it is time to get to work.”
Blair’s birthday was in July, so she barely met the 18-year-old minimum age for West Virginia House delegates.
Blair is a freshman attending West Virginia University. She plans to skip spring classes so she can serve as a lawmaker. The Legislature meets for 60 days from January to March.
In a May primary, the Martinsburg teen defeated incumbent Republican Del. Larry Kump, who is almost four times her age.
Blair is pro-life, pro-gun rights and pro-business. Her father, Craig Blair, is a sitting Republican state senator from the Eastern Panhandle.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)