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POLITICS

America’s Youngest Lawmaker

November 6th, 2014

Saira Blair on election night 2014. Photo credit/licensed through: AP Photo/The Journal Newspaper, Ron Agnir

The midterm elections are over and Republicans won control of the Senate, as many experts predicted they would.  Republicans retained their control of the House of Representatives as well.

This means that, starting in January 2015, both chambers of Congress — the lawmaking arm of the government that includes the Senate and the House of Representatives — will be controlled by Republicans. President Obama is a Democrat.

There were state-level elections as well and the one many people are talking about is in West Virginia … where 18-year old Republican Saira Blair won, making her the  youngest state lawmaker  in the country according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

She’s barely old enough to vote herself!

She was elected to West Virginia’s House of Delegates — the state version of the House of Representatives.

She ran her campaign largely from her college dorm room where she’s a freshman … and donated $3,600 of her own money to her effort.

How’s she going to be a college student and lawmaker at the same time?  She says she’ll take her classes in the fall semester … and then take spring sessions off to help make laws. She’ll be representing about 18,000 people in her district.

Ms. Blair says her priority is to help create jobs. She ran for office partly because she was concerned that many educated people around her age were having trouble finding jobs. She also said she knew from a young age that she would like to be involved in politics one day. Her father, Craig Blair, is a state senator so she has been around politics most of her life.

In high school she participated in a Youth and Government program where they practiced being lawmakers. Ms. Blair told Time magazine, “After hearing some of the bills that students came up with, and seeing that they were fully capable of doing the job that people 40, 50, years older than them were doing, I realized that I didn’t have to wait.”

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