Aspiring first black GOP congresswoman: Don’t put me in a box
If Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love wins her bid for Congress, she will be the first black Republican congresswoman in history. But don’t try to put her in that box.
Love is running in Utah’s newly created 4th Congressional District. She will face a primary field including state Reps. Stephen Sandstrom and Carl Wimmer on June 26. If she wins, she’ll face Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, who remains incredibly popular, in November.
The historical significance that her election would hold is not lost on Love, but she is adamant that she doesn’t want her race or gender to play any role in the contest. That said, she believes standing out in the sea of 435 congressmen would be a useful tool for the conservative cause she champions.
“Utah won’t vote for me because I’m going to stand out, they’ll vote for me because of my policies,” Love said in an interview with The Daily Caller.
“I have worked where the rubber meets the road on the most local levels for almost a decade,” she said. “I have cut spending before, my policies — my fiscal policies — I’ve put them into practice in Saratoga Springs, and have made them work.”
“In Washington we cannot take any chances, we have got to send our best,” Love added. “We’ve got to send people that are going to break through the 435 members of the House. We’ve got to find somebody who’s going to take all of those values that we hold dear and put them on a pedestal and be able to champion that.”
Love doubts Utahns care very much about either her race or gender. “Washington is going to be the one that makes a big deal out of it,” she added.
If she does receive significant media attention, Love hopes to use the opportunity to express a conservative message that has too few African American champions.
“Any time I’m in front of that camera … I’m going to champion those conservative causes. I’m going to let people out there know that we exist, and that … there are conservative black Americans everywhere that believe in fiscal discipline, limited government and personal responsibility,” she said.
Love’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti. They had little money and “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps” working multiple jobs, learning to speak English, studying American history and ultimately achieving American citizenship.
That background informed Love’s politics, and her aversion to what she sees as an emerging entitlement-dependent society.
“On the first day of college my dad said to me, ‘Your mother and I have never taken a handout, we have given you everything that we possibly could, we’ve worked hard for everything that we have. You will not be a burden to society. You will give back,’” she recounted.
That “stuck in the back of my head,” Love said. Indeed, a major reason she is running for Congress is because she feels that the government’s current policies are “crippling Americans by giving everyone everything, by saying that we’re entitled to everything. We’re not entitled to anything that we don’t earn,” she said.
Love first became involved with politics when she ran for city council at the urging of her neighbors and won. After six years on the city council, she ran for mayor, and two years later, she decided to run for Congress.
Love is also an avid runner, lacing up her running shoes as she spoke to The Daily Caller.
But most importantly, Love said, she isn’t just a black woman who happens to be a Republican.
“A lot of people will try and put me in a box. A lot of people will try to point out my race, point out my gender,” Love said. “But I want all Americans to know that if I can do anything in Washington, it will be to restore the power back to the people.”
“I am first and foremost a mother, and a wife, and I’m an American,” she said. “That’s how I view myself, and that’s how I want everyone to see me.”