Who Is Mia Love?

Utah's next Congresswoman, possibly.

 

Mia Love is exciting the world of politics. As a political figure, Love defies multiple demographic expectations. She is a staunch Republican, running for Congress as her party stands accused of declaring a “war on women” and contraception. She is a stunningly successful but demonstrably traditional, wife, mother, and dynamic leader. As a two term City Council-woman and now Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah’s rapidly growing boon town, she is not a political neophyte. But she is running for congress against an established political powerhouse yet by all indications she seems to be holding her own. Love made national news when she filed to run for congress because her victory in this race would make Love the first African American Female ever elected to Congress in the GOP. The potential for that distinction, along with her record of managing one of Utah’s most successful cities earned her an endorsement from ShePAC, a fundraising org, that formed after the GOP was accused of adopting policies that could harm women. As the daughter of Haitian immigrants, Love isn’t typical of the GOP’s voter base. However, Mia Love is one of a small but growing number of African Americans that seem to be bucking traditional political ties with the Democratic Party. As a candidate for congress, Mia Love’s message has been largely positive. She has emphasized her love of country and freedom and the need to rein in government expansion. Mia Love might be unconventional demographically for the GOP, but she is a staunch, unapologetic and doctrinaire conservative. She is also a fierce critic of President Obama. She has pitched herself as a candidate that can go where more traditional candidates cannot, expressing ideas that they may be unable or unwilling to profess. She has sold her candidacy by assuring voters that she will “Stand Up and Stand Out”; and that she will “Cut Through The Clutter and Change the Culture of Entitlement”. In a party that is often charged with being anti-woman, anti-black and anti-minority, Love challenges many of the  presumptions about “who” the republican party represents. Love has the cosmetics of a very traditional wife and mother. She emphasizes her role as a mother and wife. She teaches aerobics classes-a fact her campaign has emphasized by organizing a 5K charity run as a campaign event. Yet despite her emphasis on traditional familial roles and her penchant for values that can be described as vintage Americana, she is clearly ambitious, active and independent. But not everyone is in love with Mia. Some are questioning the sincerity of her conservatism. They suggest that, in the past Love has embraced tax hikes and deficit spending in order to transform her town, Saratoga Springs into a boon town. Some more traditional African Americans might also take issue with her unrelenting criticism of President Obama and her disdain for the Congressional Black Caucus. Regardless of the caveats, Mia Love is someone to watch.