17-Year-Old Girl Beats Incumbent State Delegate in Primary Election

Saira Blair, a West Virginia resident who will graduate high school later this month, just defeated a sitting state delegate in her district's primary election. This is a very notable accomplishment for any teen, but it is especially notable for a second-semester senior (a subset of the student population whose daily responsibilities mostly consist of watching Hercules in a darkened classroom until it's time to for college). When I was Saira Blair's age, I regularly wore slippers to school.

Anyway: it was announced yesterday that Blair beat state Del. Larry Kump (R) by an 872-728 vote margin. In their respective campaigns, Blair stressed her lack of biases and her willingness to talk directly to the people. Kump emphasized his "maturity" and "political insight."

"I'm really thankful that the people are willing to give me a chance regardless of my age," Blair told the Martinsberg Herald-Mail after her win was announced. "I really want to work to prove to the people that I can do this." She'll go on to face Democrat Layne Diehl in the November general election; if she wins — which is likely-ish, as the Washington Post points out, since her district tends to lean strongly Republican — she'll take a semester off of college to do politics.

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But this heartwarming tale of perseverance, womyn power and enterprising teen spirit comes with whatever the exact opposite of a silver lining is: as a Republican, Blair campaigned on an antiabortion, "pro-family," pro-Second Amendment platform. And her dad — from whom she seems to have gotten most of her conservative views — is a state senator who's been endorsed by the NRA, West Virginians for Life and the West Virginia Family Foundation. So much for lack of biases...

Here's hoping her college of choice has a good women's studies program.

Image via Facebook.