Mia Love is a 36-year-old mother of three, fitness instructor and mayor of a growing town. That's not normally enough to get a person national attention, but here's what is: She's also from Utah and a Mormon, and if she wins her congressional election, she'll be the first black female member of Congress.
Whether you embrace the "message of liberty and economic freedom" that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) says she would deliver if elected, or think the brown skin and braids do nothing to improve the positions that her opponents call "extremist," it makes for a story about race, religion and politics that's nothing short of fascinating.
From the Washington Post:
The primary victory for Love, a relative newcomer, stunned Utah. She is a tall black woman with braided hair in a state that has elected only three women to Congress and has an African American population of less than 1 percent, according to the most recent census.
"It is unprecedented. It is astonishing," said Tim Chambless, an associate professor of political science at University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics.
Love has placed no special significance on the history she could make in Congress, but she knows the stakes are high. Matheson, who also had an uncontested primary, has outpaced her in fundraising by nearly 10 to 1.
And she recognizes that some might question her ties to her adopted state: How does a woman born in Brooklyn and reared in Connecticut end up in Utah?
While in college she met her future husband, Jason Love, who was in Connecticut on a Mormon mission. Fourteen years ago, she moved to Utah; left the Catholic Church, in which she was raised; and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Love, whose husband is white, said she has felt nothing but acceptance in Utah.
Read more at the Washington Post.