Most 18-year-olds are considered politically active if they even vote. But Saira Blair, an 18-year-old young woman from West Virginia, has just become the U.S.'s youngest state legislator in history — by a landslide. (She defeated her Democratic opponent 63 to 30 percent.) While her views are conservative, and I mean very, very, very conservative, there's absolutely no way to minimize just how monumental this achievement is for women and girls everywhere.
After winning the primary in May, 18-year-old Saira Blair told NPR:
It's wonderful that my generation is learning they don't have to be 40, 50 or 60 to realize these conservative values benefit them.
According to Vocativ, Blair describes herself as a “fiscal conservative” who is “pro-life,” “pro-marriage,” and “pro-family." Additionally, she's used her youth in her campaign to her advantage, arguing she's less likely to be biased solely based on the fact that she hasn't lived long enough to become set in her ways. She also ran on a strong job creation platform; something desperately needed in West Virginia, where the state unemployment rate is 6.6 percent.
Blair began her freshman year at the University of West Virginia in August, and at this point, she hasn't stated any intention of dropping out. The record-breaking politician tweeted to her supporters around 10 p.m., thanking them and expressing her enthusiasm for the next step in her political career.
While I can't agree with her ideologies, I have to acknowledge what a monumental achievement this is for young women in politics. Blair is an inspiration to women, of any age, who aspire to run for office — and she is proof that women can, and will, do it.
Images: Instagram/sairablair (2)