Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) endorsed Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE for president on Thursday, as the Florida lawmaker and GOP candidate continues to pick up steam in the endorsement primary. 

Speaking on Fox News Channel, Love said she was inspired by a recent Rubio visit to her home state and cited his strength on national defense in the wake of the terror attacks in France as a reason she will support him over others. 

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“I saw him inspire people, but this [terror attack] just solidified things for me,” Love said. “He’s been talking about these threats from the very beginning … he’s very strong when it comes to foreign policy and national defense, and this is a time when we need a president who is going to make sure we are strong.” 

Love, a 39-year-old African-American woman, is widely viewed as a rising GOP star. However, she has had to deal with controversy recently for billing taxpayers for more than $1,000 for flights to and from the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. 

Love's office says she repaid the money in early September, as House rules prohibit lawmakers from using their Congressional allowance on events that are social in nature. In 

Rubio trails only Jeb Bush in the race for Capitol Hill support. He now counts a dozen supporters in the House and three in the Senate. Many have come in the last few weeks as he’s increased his standing in the polls after several strong debate performances. 

Jeb Bush still leads all contenders in the race for Capitol Hill support, with backing from 25 House members and three senators.