The Hill's 25 Women to Watch: Page 8 of 26

The Hill's 25 Women to Watch

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MIA LOVE

UTAH CANDIDATE FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Few small-town mayors get the chance to speak at their party’s national convention — but Saratoga Springs, Utah, Mayor Mia Love (R) is no ordinary small-town mayor.

She is one of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s top recruits this election cycle and is giving battle-hardened Rep. Jim MathesonJim MathesonMia Love becomes first black Republican woman in Congress Where House Democrats could lose House Dems brace for losses MORE (D-Utah) one of the toughest races of his career. She also has a unique profile, as a daughter of Haitian immigrants who converted to Mormonism and moved west from Connecticut shortly after she graduated college.

Love is a trained actress — she turned down a role in a Broadway musical because it conflicted with her wedding — and her comfort onstage was on display at this year’s Republican National Convention, where she delivered a well-received speech focused on her immigrant roots, self-reliance and entrepreneurship.

Love got started in politics at a very local level, leading the charge to force her neighborhood’s developers to spray for bugs. She soon started showing up at city council meetings, and when she felt her opinions were being ignored, she decided to run for a council seat. She won both that campaign and, six years later, a mayoral race in the 1,000-person town outside of Salt Lake City. 

Now she’s aiming for a much higher seat. Originally a dark-horse candidate, Love won the nomination with surprising ease, enjoying more than two-thirds support at the state GOP convention.

She’s drawn high-profile surrogates, too: Ann Romney, Sen. John McCainJohn McCainMcCain says he hasn't met with Trump since inauguration Overnight Defense: General warns State Department cuts would hurt military | Bergdahl lawyers appeal Trump motion | Senators demand action after nude photo scandal Senate lawmakers eye hearing next week for Air Force secretary: report MORE (R-Ariz.) and House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerObamaCare gets new lease on life Ryan picks party over country by pushing healthcare bill The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ohio) have fundraised or stumped for her, and Reps. Paul RyanPaul RyanSchumer compares opposition to GOP health bill to Vietnam War protests Bush ethics lawyer compares GOP healthcare bill to Hindenburg explosion Michael Moore warns Dems: Now is not the time to gloat MORE (R-Wis.), Eric CantorEric CantorPaul replaces Cruz as GOP agitator GOP shifting on immigration Breitbart’s influence grows inside White House MORE (R-Va.) and Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) have donated to her campaign.

Polls show a tight race between Love and Matheson. If she wins, she’ll be thrust into her party’s spotlight — but even if Matheson holds on, she’s unlikely to disappear from the political scene.

— Cameron Joseph

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