Why Teenage Politician Saira Blair & Leslie Knope Of 'Parks And Recreation' Are The Same Person
If Parks & Recreation's Leslie Knope was a real person, she would look a lot like 17-year-old Saira Blair of West Virginia. She's barely eligible to vote in her home state, but only a week before her high school graduation, Blair unseated incumbent state Del. Larry Krump (R) Tuesday by an 872-728 vote margin in her Republican primary. Who runs the world? Girls.
This go-getter is a "fiscal conservative," that's "pro-life," "pro-family," "pro-marriage," and "pro-jobs," according to her campaign fliers. Sure, those political stances don't line up exactly with Leslie Knope's, but it's her ambitious personality that deems her as the character personified. (She's also just 17, so maybe she'll change her mind about some of those issues.)
Blair is attending West Virginia University in the fall to pursue degrees in economics and Spanish, but if she wins the seat in November, she plans to take a break from classes in the spring because lawmakers convene in Charleston, West Virginia from January to March.
According to The Washington Post, Blair is likely to win the general election against Democratic nominee Layne Diehl in a more Republican-leaning district. These similarities between Blair and Knope are why Blair she's going to win the election, or at least come close...
1. Political families
Both Knope and Blair are no strangers to politics. Knope's mother, Marlene, works in the Pawnee Education Department, and Blair's father, Craig Blair, currently holds a seat in the West Virginia state senate. These women grew up surrounded by ambitious, political parents, which fueled their passion for local politics.
2. High school go-getters
For Knope and Blair, high school isn't just a time to watch Netflix until college starts. They love their towns, or their districts, and they don't want to wait to give back. In high school, Knope graduated in the top five percent of her class at Pawnee North High School, was co-vice president of the Student Body, a member of the Model United Nations, Key Club, Debate Club, Mock Trial, Young Republicans, Young Democrats, Drama Club, Historical Society, Orchestra, Color Guard, a founding member of Young Independents, and a player on the junior varsity field hockey team.
Blair, on the other hand, spends her time volunteering at the Martinsburg VA hospital, raises money for the Make-A-Wish foundation, and running a political campaign.
3. Immeasurable love for their towns
Knope loves Pawnee, and no one can question that. And just by running for a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates at age 17, no one can question how much Blair loves her district.
"I don't have as many biases because I am younger, and so I'm more capable of taking the views of the people directly from the district of Charleston," Blair told the Martinsburg Herald-Mail. “I think I’m fully capable of doing the job, and I don't think it's rocket science by any means — not if you just listen to the people," she added.
The real questions is, if Blair is elected, can she handle the job? Well, she is practically Leslie Knope — so that pretty much answers itself.