Eighteen-year-old Saira Blair made history on Tuesday by becoming West Virginia's youngest Republican lawmaker after a landslide victory.
Blair, who is currently a freshman at West Virginia University and campaigned primarily out of her dorm room, defeated Democrat Layne Diehl, a 44-year-old Martinsburg attorney, by 63 percent to 30 percent, according to The Associated Press.
"When I made the decision to run for public office, I did so because I firmly believe that my generation's voice, fresh perspective and innovative ideas can help solve some of our state's most challenging issues," Blair wrote on Facebook following her win. "History has been made tonight in West Virginia, and while I am proud of all that we have accomplished together, it is the future of this state that is now my singular focus."
Blair, who won the West Virginia GOP primary in May at just 17 years old, has spoken publicly about her strong Christian beliefs and pro-life, pro-traditional marriage values.
"It's time we stopped treating our citizens like terrorists and our terrorists like citizens," she says on her online issues statement. "I believe that life begins at conception ... I find it extremely hard to believe that given the choice any child would chose death over life, I know I certainly wouldn't."
She also notes that America was founded on "Christian-Judean principles" and says marriage is the holy union of man and God.
The young lawmaker also attends church every Sunday at The Church at Martinsburg. Her pastor, Jacob Atchley, says the young woman has had a solid upbringing and will make decisions based on a strong Biblical worldview.
"I would say she is very personable, driven and aware. When I say aware, I don't know that I would describe every 18 year old as having a strong sense of self awareness but I think Saira has that, and I think that's due to her family upbringing [and] the circumstance she grew up in," Pastor Jacob Atchley told the AP.
The pastor also said that the kind and engaging way Blair interacts with voter is an example of the "personal nature that Christ has with his people."
Atchley also revealed that he was able to sit down and pray with Blair and prayed with her just weeks before the election, and is excited about how the Lord will use her in the upcoming years.
"... We're excited about how the Lord's going to use her in what she has ahead. She and I met I guess several weeks before the election. We sat down, we prayed together and really thought through how her decision making is going to be made and the convictions that she has and so I presented her with a Bible on behalf of the church," he shared. "As best I can tell she's got a really strong, biblical understanding of what is ahead for her and she's going to do what she can to deliver policy and law around the convictions she's been raised with and the biblical world view that she has."