Caleb Hanna, a student at West Virginia University, this month became one of the youngest legislators in the state at 19 when he was sworn in as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and one of the Republican Party’s youngest black lawmakers in the country, reports The New York Times.
Hanna is an anomaly – he’s a black Republican in a state whose population is 94 percent white and 4 percent black, and he started campaigning during his senior year at Richwood High School. He won the general election in November by 25 percentage points over incumbent Democrat Dana Lynch in a rural district that is predominantly older, white and conservative.
One of his first legislative acts included proposing the state chip in $10 million in funds to help build President Donald Trump’s border wall.
Hanna was inspired to enter politics by the victory of former President Barack Obama, but clarified it was “strictly because of the fact that he was African American. It had nothing to do with his policies.”
He ran on a platform of supporting “God, guns and babies,” and said he was “very religious.”
"I believe God comes first and foremost in every policy decision I should make,” he recently said on Fox News. “I'm very supportive of our Second Amendment rights and our right to bear arms, and I believe that we have to stand up for those who don't get the chance to stand up for themselves. So, I'm very pro-life."