While the mainstream political media seems to be preoccupied with stories about dogs and other irrelevancies, previously unknown Mia Love won an upset victory for the Republican nomination for the state of Utah‘s new 4th Congressional District on Saturday.
Love, 37, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, near Salt Lake City, and the daughter of Haitian immigrants, received 70 percent of the GOP convention delegate votes for the seat in the U.S. Congress, thereby avoiding a primary.
Love will face entrenched Democrat Jim Matheson, a six-term congressman from an adjoining district, in the November general election. Matheson is currently slightly favored in the newly created district, but since Utah is generally a strong Republican state, newcomer Love has a shot to go to Washington. In 2010, Matheson barely got back into office with just 51% of the vote.
If she is successful in November, Love would be the only black Republican woman in Congress. According to Prof. William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection, Love was the first black woman in Utah’s history to be elected mayor and also is the first black woman nominated for Congress in Utah.
In a speech earlier this year, Love said (in reference to her immigrant parents) “I had a front-row seat for two people living the American dream. I will not stand by as we leave our children a legacy of debt and dependency.” Love is married with three children.
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff referred to Love as a “novelty candidate” at the convention, but has since apologized for his “terrible choice of words.”