Rising GOP star Mia Love handily secured the Republican nominee Saturday to replace retiring Rep. Jim Matheson’s (D-Utah).

The former Saratoga Springs, Utah, mayor raked in more than 78 percent of the vote at the party’s nominating convention, while businessman Bob Fuehr received just about 22 percent, according to multiple reports. The victory makes her one step closer to becoming the first black female Republican ever elected to Congress.

{mosads}Now, she will face off against Democrat Doug Owens, a Salt Lake City attorney who garnered 98 percent of his party’s support at his own party’s convention.

Love quickly became a party favorite after her 2012 Republican National Convention speech captured national attention. In the speech, she talked about her parents’ immigration to the U.S. from Haiti, and attacked President Obama for policies that she said failed to improve the country.

She lost that year’s election to Matheson by fewer than 800 votes, but promised a rematch last year.

Matheson’s surprise December announcement added fuel to Republicans’ hopes to pick up the seat. The Democrat is leaving office after more than a decade.

The suburban Salt Lake City district is considered a likely pickup for the GOP. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district by a 37-point margin in 2012.

Tags Doug Owens Jim Matheson Mia Love

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