Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mia Love Stuns Utah By Winning 4th Congressional District Republican Nomination Outright, But Faces The Experienced Jim Matheson In November

Any notions that Utah might still be a racist state despite its past were effectively shattered once and for all on Saturday April 21st, 2012, when a Black female mayor won the Republican nomination for Utah's new 4th Congressional District. Mia Love, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who's the mayor of Saratoga Springs, defeated four other opponents. By winning 70.4 percent of the delegate vote, she avoids a primary fight, and her next contest will be the November general election against Democratic nominee Jim Matheson. If elected, she would become the only Black female Republican in the House of Representatives.

Love needed two rounds of voting to put down former state legislator Carl Wimmer, who had been considered the favorite in the race and who enjoyed broad legislative backing, the endorsement of Sen. Mike Lee, and the support of Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Stephen Sandstrom, Jay Cobb and Kenneth Gray were all eliminated after the first ballot, and Sandstrom and Cobb chose to endorse Love in the second round. A Utah Foundation poll showed a sudden shift towards Love less than a week before the primary. KSL news video embedded below:

Mia Love began her political career by being elected to the Saratoga Springs City Council in 2004. After serving two terms, she was successfully elected Mayor in 2010. During her time in elective office, she approved a transformation from the agriculture tax to municipal tax and worked with other city council members to cut expenses, reducing the city’s shortfall during the economic downturn from $3.5 million to $779,000. Saratoga Springs now has the highest possible bond rating for a city of its size: AA+. Thus she has acquired a reputation as a solid fiscal conservative. She has a few local critics; some residents on the north side of town feel they pay a disproportionate share of local taxes. Utah Policy compares Love favorably to Sarah Palin (at least the Palin of earlier years).

Unlike Congressman Allen West (R-FL), who refused to join the Congressional Black Caucus, Mia Love says that she will join the Caucus if elected, but intends to try to take it apart from the inside out because she says they ignite emotions and ignite racism when there isn’t, and use their positions to instill fear. She believes they transform hope and change into fear and blame.

Faith is also important to Mia Love. She was influenced by her sister to join the LDS Church, because she found her sister was at peace with it. Love was particularly impressed by the Church's doctrine about eternal families and how eveything that the Church teaches is to protect and nurture those relationships. Like many other LDS members, she cut an "I'm A Mormon" video:

Mia Love may have surprised Utahns in April, but Jim Matheson, also an LDS member who has represented Utah in the 2nd District since January 2001 and who decided his re-election chances would improve by migrating to the 4th District, is an experienced war horse who's been there and done that. He's got six months to devise a strategy to defeat her, and one of the big reasons he keeps getting re-elected is because he's a blue-dog Democrat who's not a sockpuppet of Nancy Pelosi. He's only voted with the Democrats 54 percent of the time. At this point, Matheson must still be considered the favorite.

Update: Now that the significance of Mia Love's victory is sinking in, Utahns are expressing themselves in the comments to this newer Salt Lake Tribune story. A sampling (after the jump):

evansrichdm April 22nd 2:30 P.M:
I am reading so rather hate fulled remark about Love. I once lived next to her. Her and her family were very nice and kind to us and had us over for dinner. I was mob with the military and was away for a while. The Love family was very helpful to giving service with my family. We also talk about politics and our view on things in the world. What I was impressed with is how Mia was so strong in her beliefs and how she had no problem with expressing them. She did not have this the world owes me for that or that, but more I make my own fate and will work hard for it. To me she was a great example of someone that came from humble beginnings and worked her way up to were she is today, with a great supporting husband. She is a true conservative 100% and will turn a lot of heads, but what is more important is that she will be a good force to get things done for the better for this state and nation. Way to go Mia Love.

Chester4 April 22nd 7:30 A.M:
I like have two good choice. Mia Love wants to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. I'd love to hear what she would replace it with. She has talents in the health and fitness industry. Personally, I'd go for a gym membership and a fitness trainer over Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance that doesn't cover doctor visits for weight loss.

I also love the diligent work that Matheson has done on education. He actually calls Utah Parents from Washington D.C. and asks for suggestions on both education and healthcare. I wish that we could send BOTH Matheson and Love to Washington.

jethrObama April 22nd 10:30 A.M:
Seriously, the picture you paint of Tea Party radicals is far from accurate. Both my wife (a delegate) and I are big time Tea Party supporters, traveling to Washington in Aug.2010, throwing out Bennett, but neutral on Hatch. We talked and emailed the top three candidates and spent lots of time researching both Wimmer and Love. Love, except for her far right-field support for Ron Paul, is by far the best choice. We were SANE enough to be elected by a caucus of over 100 neighbors. You're just not very knowledgeable about the tea party I guess.

M. Clinton Richter April 21st 9:00 P.M:
This has got to have the DNC ticked off. Instead of having Jim Matheson square off against a white conservative male (who is often painted as an extremist) he has to run against a conservative black female (whose focus is on economic prosperity) . As Mia has often said about herself, to the democrats, a women like her doesn't exist. Mia is sharp and will win over the hearts and minds of many who don't know her yet.

It's lining up to be a clean sweep for the four congressional seats.

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