WVa. Elects Youngest State Lawmaker in US

College freshman defeated her Democratic opponent 63% to 30%
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2014 2:15 AM CST
West Virginians Elect Youngest State Lawmaker in Nation
West Virginia Republican State Delegate candidate Saira Blair campaigns at the Eastern Panhandle Business Association luncheon at The Purple Iris Restaurant in Martinsburg, Va., Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

What were you doing when you turned 18? One young woman in West Virginia ran for public office out of her dorm room, and as of Tuesday, the West Virginia University freshman is the youngest state lawmaker in the country, reports the Wall Street Journal. Defeating her Democratic opponent 63% to 30% in what she described as positive campaigns, Saira Blair, a fiscally and socially conservative Republican who is pro-guns and pro-life, will be representing a small district in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. She says she plans to defer her spring semester to attend the legislature’s 60-day session.

The daughter of a state senator, Blair says she has "shadowed" her father for many years and "developed a lot of my views around the ones I've seen him hold," reports New York magazine. Although both are pro-life, Blair says she does not support Plan B contraception while her father does. An economics major who says she believes in term limits and hopes to become a financial planner, Blair says she put $3,600 of her own savings (she's worked at her family's apple orchard and water softener company) into her campaign because she wanted to show she has "skin in the game." (In the Republican primary, Blair beat two-term incumbent Larry Kump when she was still 17.)

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