'Young Gun' Mia Love: Freedom Makes America Great

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WASHINGTON -- If you haven't heard of Saratoga Springs, Utah, and Mayor Mia Love by now, chances are you will by this time next week.

She's a rising political star, and she'll be a featured speaker at next week's Republican National Convention.

If this black conservative mother wins her race for Utah's 4th Congressional District seat, she'll be a trailblazer.

Not Your Average Candidate

Mia Love is a tough-talking, working mom who found her passion in, of all places, Utah politics.

"Utah is home because when I moved to Utah I found people who believed the same thing I do: in fiscal discipline, limited government, personal responsibility," she told CBN News.

Anything but typical, Love -- a conservative Mormon convert -- defeated her well-funded, better known primary opponents by talking about "freedom" and "liberty."

Those are words that resonate with her Tea Party supporters.

"That's what makes this country great is the freedoms that we have -- the freedom to work and choose and freedom to fail because our failures make us better," she said.

Love credits her ideology to the hard work put in by her mom and dad. They immigrated to the United States from Haiti so Mia and her siblings could have a better future.

"They came to this country, $10 in their pockets, worked several jobs to make ends meet, scrubbed toilets when he (her father) had to for a private Catholic school, and never took a handout and said to me, 'Mia, you will not be a burden to society. You will give back,'" she recalled.

Love's Atypical Rival

As a small town mayor, she's locked in a heated race against another atypical candidate: Rep. Jim Matheson.

He's a conservative Democrat representing the most Republican district in the country, with a coveted endorsement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"Certainly, if there's a Romney bounce in Utah because he's the first Mormon at the top of the ticket, that would be of great benefit to Mia Love," Mark Meissner, an adjunct professor at George Washington University's School of Political Management, told CBN News.

"And if she can tie Matheson to the Obama administration with the argument that, 'If you're voting for Romney, Romney needs support in Congress for his agenda. I'm that person,' -- that will be a really strong argument," he said.

Making History?

And if Love wins, she will have made history as the first black Republican woman elected to Congress.

But unfazed by such a prospect, she told CBN News, "The only history I'm interested in making is getting our fiscal house in order."

While Love downplays the potential achievement, it's not lost on her fellow Republicans.

Party leaders have identified her as one who would help the GOP gain a larger majority in the House. They also hope her RNC debut will give voters an inclusive picture of the Republican Party.

Mia Love shares her thoughts on freedom of religion:


Mia Love on government subsidies:


Love on inspiring others to serve their communities:

 

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John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.