In a very close race, Jim Matheson snuck out a win over Mia Love, grabbing 108,275 votes the her 105,629. Love had been the strong favorite leading into the race, but in a surprising turn the race went to Matheson.
Love decided to run for Utah’s newly formed 4th Congressional District in November 2011. She has been mayor of Saratoga Springs, UT since 2009, and served as city councilwoman for two terms. During her tenure in Saratoga Springs city government, Love became known for her conservative positions on limited government, increased citizen liberties, and limited restraints on business.
Utah is about as red as it gets, but active independent voters rival Republicans nearly 1:1, with roughly half the electorate registered as unaffiliated. Love’s campaign had fundraising help from prominent national Republicans and the benefit of Romney’s success in Utah
She appealed to liberal leaning and independent voters with her campaign’s call for fiscal and personal responsibility:
“With the individual freedom we enjoy as Americans comes personal responsibility. Citizens are responsible for themselves, their families, and their communities.”
A win for Love would land her as the first black Republican women in Congress and the first black representative from Utah.