Mia Love

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Mia Love
Mia Love official congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Jim Matheson
3rd Mayor of Saratoga Springs
In office
January 8, 2010 – January 8, 2014
Preceded by Timothy Parker
Succeeded by Jim Miller
Personal details
Born Ludmya Bourdeau
(1975-12-06) December 6, 1975 (age 39)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Nationality American and Haitian
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jason Love
Children 3
Alma mater University of Hartford
Profession Politician
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Ludmya Bourdeau "Mia" Love (born December 6, 1975) is an American politician and the U.S. Representative from Utah's 4th congressional district. She is the first Haitian American and the first black female Republican in Congress,[1][2] as well as the first African American to be elected to Congress from Utah.[3]

Born to Haitian parents in Brooklyn, New York, Love was elected as the Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, serving from 2010 to 2014. She was previously on its city council. In 2012, Love ran for Utah's 4th congressional district, losing narrowly to incumbent Democratic Representative Jim Matheson. She was a speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention. She was elected as a Republican to the House of Representatives on November 4, 2014, defeating Democratic opponent Doug Owens, son of the former Congressman of the same name.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Love was born Ludmya Bourdeau on December 6, 1975, in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Mary and Jean Maxine Bourdeau.[4] At a time of political repression, her parents emigrated together from Haiti in 1973,[5] leaving their two older children behind with family.[6][7] Her father had been threatened by the Tonton Macoute, the secret police in Haiti, and her parents traveled to the United States on a tourist visa.[8] They spoke only French when they arrived. Her father became a paint-company manager and her mother worked as a nurse.[9]

Love's birth enabled her parents to gain a US residency permit (green card) under an immigration law that favored immigrants from the Western Hemisphere who had a child born in the United States; it expired in early 1976.[6][10] They became naturalized citizens.[11]

When Love was five, her family moved from Brooklyn to Norwalk, Connecticut.[12] Love attended Norwalk High School.[8] She was raised as a Roman Catholic in the faith of her parents. After the family settled in Norwalk, her parents brought her older siblings from Haiti to reunite the family.[2][13]

Love attended the University of Hartford with a half-tuition scholarship.[14] She graduated with a degree in the performing arts. While at the University of Hartford, she participated in the Hartt School's Music Theatre program.[8]

After college, she worked at Sento Corporation and the Ecopass Corporation.[15] She was also a flight attendant with Continental Airlines.[10][16] She moved to Utah in 1998 after converting to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and while working for Continental. There she married Jason Love.

Early political career[edit]

Love began to be active in civic affairs when she served as the community spokesperson in Saratoga Springs in an effort to get the developer of her neighborhood to spray against flies.[8]

Love won a seat on the Saratoga Springs City Council (Utah County) in 2003, a city of about 18,000 near Salt Lake City. The small new city was established in 1997 and has had rapid growth. She was the first female Haitian-American elected official in Utah County, Utah; she took office in January 2004.[16]

During an economic downturn, as part of the city council Love approved a transition from the agriculture tax to municipal tax. She worked with other city council members to cut expenses, reducing the city's shortfall during the economic downturn from $3.5 million to $779,000. Saratoga Springs now has the highest possible bond rating for a city of its size.[17]

After six years on the Council, Love was elected Mayor,[18] winning with 861 votes to 594 for her opponent Jeff Francom.[19] Love was elected as Mayor of Saratoga Springs, serving from January 2010 to January 2014.[15] During her term as mayor, Love led the city in dealing with natural disasters, including a wildfire, which was followed shortly afterward by a severe mudslide.[20]

Congressional campaigns[edit]

2012 congressional election[edit]

Love ran in Utah's 4th congressional district, which was created after the 2010 Census.[21][22] She competed for the Republican nomination against attorney Jay Cobb and State Reps. Stephen Sandstrom of Orem and Carl Wimmer of Herriman; she won the nomination on April 21, 2012 at the 2012 Utah Republican Party Convention with over 70 percent of the vote. She faced six-term Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson in the general election, who was redistricted into the 4th, losing some of his reliably Democratic constituents.

Nationally, Love received campaign support from 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife Ann Romney, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Budget Committee Chairman and 2012 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan and Speaker of the House John Boehner.[23][24]

In August 2012 National Journal named Love as one of "Ten Republicans to follow on Twitter".[25] When speaking to the 2012 Republican National Convention on August 28, 2012, she discussed lessons learned from her parents, immigrants from Haiti who fled political repression.[26] She said, "Mr. President, I am here to tell you we are not buying what you are selling in 2012."[27]

In September 2012, questions arose about her parents' immigrant status. Forbes investigated a claim in an article that month in Mother Jones that no law existed in 1976 that would have allowed Love's parents to become citizens of the United States after her birth. Forbes found that immigrants who had been residents of the Western Hemisphere could get long-term residency permits (green cards) if they had a child born in the United States. Mother Jones issued a correction.[4][6][28] Love did not make her family's papers available for review. In an October 2012 interview, her father said that Mia's birth as a US citizen was key to him and his wife gaining permanent legal status and ultimately citizenship.[8]

Love lost the election to Jim Matheson by 768 votes out of 245,277 votes cast,[29] a difference of 0.31%. She was regarded to have run a weak campaign, switching campaign managers three times, trying to "nationalize" the race rather than focus on local issues, and missing interviews and appointments because of rifts in her campaign staff.[30]

2014 election[edit]

Mia Love

In March 2013, Love said she was seriously considering another run against Matheson.[31] In May 2013 she announced she would run in 2014. As of July 2013, Love had raised over $475,000 for her campaign.[32] Love was an opening speaker at the 2013 Western Conservative Summit. She spoke of the need for increased grassroots organization in the GOP, and the need to be independent from the government.[33]

In August 2013, Love was chosen by Newsmax as an "Up and Comer" in their list of top "25 Influential Women of the GOP," given her visible position as a young black female Republican in a party known for its lack of diversity.[34] In November 2013, Love acknowledged the growing consensus that the Tea Party needed to shift away from being the "party of no," disagreeing with its part in forcing a federal government shutdown over the budget.[35] But, she reiterated her support for the philosophy of the Tea Party and many of its leaders, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee.[36]

On December 17, 2013, Matheson announced that he would not run for re-election. Love was ranked as the favored candidate due to her name recognition and characteristics of the district. In early October 2014, the National Journal listed Utah's 4th district as the number one most likely district to change hands in November.[37]

In early 2014 Love was made a member of the Republican National Committee's National Advisory Council on African-American outreach.[38] On April 26, 2014 Love won the Republican nomination for the 4th congressional district at the Utah Republican Convention, with 78% of the vote at the convention.[27][39]

On election night, Owens led Love until late in the evening, when she pulled ahead and ultimately won by more than 4,000 votes.[27][40] Owens has said that he may run against Love in 2016.[41]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Mia Love speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 26, 2015.

With the start of the new congress, Love was appointed to the House Financial Services Committee.[42] Love joined the Congressional Black Caucus in January 2015 after taking her seat.[43]

In May 2015 she was a lead sponsor along with Duncan Hunter of HR 2518 the "Student Right to Know Before You Go Act," designed to increase the amount of information universities and colleges were required to provide prospective students.[44]

Political positions[edit]

A Tea Party conservative,[30] Love says she favors "fiscal discipline, limited government, and personal responsibility."[18] She has also said that she asks herself three questions whenever she approaches an issue: "Is it affordable? Is it sustainable? Is it my job?"[45] She has said that at her college orientation, Love's father told her: "Mia, your mother and I never took a handout. You will not be a burden to society. You will give back." She underscored this philosophy on the campaign trail in 2014 to sum up her conservative views.[46]


Love is pro-life and has been endorsed by the Susan B. Anthony List.[47]

Spending and taxes[edit]

During her first run for Congress, Love proposed deep cuts to federal spending, particularly in the area of entitlement spending.[30] She also supports cutting taxes.[30] She supported major cuts to foreign aid, block grants in a wide range of programs, and tort reform. She believes that the Federal government should have less power.[48] In 2014 Love focused more on balancing the budget, avoiding stating specific cuts needed but identifying the goal of matching spending to revenue.[49] Love supported the March 2015 budget, which required an increase in federal employee contributions to their retirement funds.[50]

Other issues[edit]

Love supported domestic energy exploration, local control of education, Second Amendment rights, and state control of public lands.[51]

Congressional Black Caucus[edit]

While campaigning in 2012, Love had said that if elected, she would “join the Congressional Black Caucus and try to take that thing apart from the inside out.” She has described the mainly Democratic Caucus as characterized by

...demagoguery. They sit there and ignite emotions and ignite racism when there isn’t. They use their positions to instill fear. Hope and change is turned into fear and blame. Fear that everybody is going to lose everything and blaming Congress for everything instead of taking responsibility.[52]

Personal life[edit]

Raised a Roman Catholic, Love joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after graduating from college in 1998.[53] While working as a flight attendant, she moved to Utah as part of her work. She also wanted to be closer to the temple and to learn more about her faith.[8] There she got to know Jason Love, whom she had met briefly when he was an LDS missionary in Connecticut.

The two were married in December 1998, four months after their first date. Love turned down an offer to appear in the Broadway show Smokey Joe's Café that would start two days before her marriage.[8][54] When first married, the Loves lived in American Fork. They have three children together. The Loves decided that Jason should continue his software work and maintain their residence in Utah.[55]

Electoral history[edit]

Utah's 4th congressional district election, 2014[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mia B. Love 64,390 50.04
Democratic Doug Owens 60,165 46.75
Independent American Tim Aalders 1,764 1.37
Constitution Collin Simonsen 1,214 0.94
Libertarian Jim L. Vein 1,154 0.90
Total votes 128,687 100.00
Republican gain from Democratic
Utah's 4th congressional district election, 2012[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jim Matheson (incumbent) 119,803 48.84
Republican Mia B. Love 119,035 48.53
Libertarian Jim L. Vein 6,439 2.63
Total votes 245,277 100.0
Democratic hold


  1. ^ a b Will, George (September 24, 2012). "Utah's Mia Love Battles Stereotypes". Newsmax.com (Newsmax Media). Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. 
  2. ^ a b c "Rising GOP star Mia Love glides into the spotlight at convention". Fox News. August 28, 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  3. ^ "2014: Not a Landmark Year for Women, Despite Some Notable Firsts" (PDF), CAWP Election Watch (Press Release) (The Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University), November 21, 2014, archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-24 
  4. ^ a b Mencimer, Stephanie (September 24, 2012). "GOP Rising Star Mia Love: "Anchor Baby"?". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  5. ^ Ritz, Erica (September 4, 2013). "Mia Love Asks: 'How Far Away Are We From Losing the American Dream?'". TheBlaze. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  6. ^ a b c Anderson, Stuart (September 28, 2012). "Mia Love May Be Right About Her Family's Immigration History". Forbes.com. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  7. ^ Mencimer, Stephanie (October 1, 2012). "Mia Love may be anchor baby after all". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Gehrke, Robert; Canham, Matt (October 8, 2012). "Mia Love: From Dream of Broadway to Capitol Hill". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. 
  9. ^ John Fund, "Daughter of Haitian Immigrants Is GOP Congressional Nominee in Utah", The Corner, National Review, 22 April 2012
  10. ^ a b Benson, Lee (January 17, 2011). "About Utah: King's dream certainly thrives along the shores of Utah Lake". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. There was an immigration law in place, however, that would grant the entire family citizenship if Jean Maxine and Mary had a baby in America. But there was a deadline. The law was set to expire on Jan. 1, 1976. On Dec. 6, 1975, with 25 days to spare, Mia was born in a Brooklyn hospital. 
  11. ^ Hesterman, Billy (January 6, 2012). "Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love Officially Enters Congressional Race". Provo Daily Herald. Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. 
  12. ^ Glionna, Hohn M.; Pearce, Matt (November 5, 2014). "GOP hopes Mia Love's win a watershed moment for the party". LA Times. Archived from the original on 2014-11-15. 
  13. ^ Dougherty, Joseph M. (January 15, 2010). "Mayor Mia Love honors Martin Luther King Jr. in speech". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. 
  14. ^ Canham, Matt (November 23, 2014). 1829652-155/mia-love-searching-for-stardom-a "Mia Love: Searching for stardom; a Mormon conversion" Check |url= scheme (help). Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-11-24. 
  15. ^ a b "Mayor & City Council: Mayor Mia Love", Saratoga Springs official website (SaratogaSpringsCity.com), City of Saratoga Springs, Utah, archived from the original on 2012-09-11 
  16. ^ a b Haddock, Sharon (September 27, 2004). "Political Novice Lovin' it". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  17. ^ Rolly, Paul (November 19, 2011). "Mia Love causing a GOP stir nationally". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. 
  18. ^ a b Levinson, Alexis (January 14, 2012). "Aspiring first black GOP congresswoman: Don't put me in a box". The Daily Caller. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  19. ^ Myers, Donald W. (November 9, 2009). "Mia Love: Race not a factor for Utah's first black female mayor-elect". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. 
  20. ^ Allred, Cathy (December 26, 2013). "Mia Love thankful for chance to serve Saratoga Springs". Provo Daily Herald. Archived from the original on 2013-12-29. 
  21. ^ Gehrke, Robert (January 4, 2012). "Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love to kick off campaign". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. 
  22. ^ Saulny, Susan (May 22, 2012). "Black Mormons and the Politics of Identity". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  23. ^ Canham, Matt (February 1, 2012). "Chaffetz helps Love with Washington introductions, but says he won't endorse". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. 
  24. ^ Gehrke, Robert (2012-08-01). "Love getting boost from national GOP stars". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. 
  25. ^ Mazmanian, Adam (August 27, 2012). "Ten Republicans to follow on Twitter". NationalJournal.com. National Journal. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  26. ^ "'Revive' America, Utah congressional candidate Mia Love tells RNC, draws rousing cheers". Deseret News. AP. August 28, 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  27. ^ a b c "Utah-4: Mia Love (R)", Almanac: 2014 New members of Congress, National Journal, archived from the original on 2014-11-24 
  28. ^ Gehrke, Robert (September 24, 2012). "Love's story of immigrant parents called into question". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. 
  29. ^ "Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office, General Canvass Report, 2012" (XLSX formatted spreadsheet), elections.utah.gov 
  30. ^ a b c d Rolly, Paul (July 21, 2012). "Mia Love's campaign is all in tangles". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-12-12. 
  31. ^ Chasmar, Jessica (March 17, 2013). "GOP Mayor Mia Love thinking about another run for Congress". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  32. ^ Joseph, Cameron (July 15, 2013). "Mia Love raises $475K for House rematch". The Hill. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  33. ^ Patane, Matthew (July 27, 2013). "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker opens Western Conservative Summit". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  34. ^ Patten, David A. (August 2013). "25 Influential Women of the GOP". Newsmax. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  35. ^ Roche, Lisa Riley (November 13, 2013). "Mia Love says I Don't Believe in Labels". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  36. ^ Hallowell, Billy A. (November 27, 2013). "Conservative Star Mia Love Denies Report That She Rejects the 'Tea Party' Label — and Clarifies Her Stance". TheBlaze. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  37. ^ Fitzpatrick, Jack (October 8, 2014). "The Hotline's House Race Rankings: The 30 Districts Most Likely to Change Hands in November". National Journal Hotline (National Journal). Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  38. ^ "RNC's advisory councils to focus on minority communities". Florida Courier. March 6, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  39. ^ Huston, Warner Todd (April 27, 2014). "Mia Love Wins GOP Nomination for Congress". Breitbart. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  40. ^ a b "Utah Election Results US Congressional District #4", electionresults.utah.gov, archived from the original on 2014-11-05 
  41. ^ Canham, Matt (December 5, 2014). "A Love-Owens rematch? Democrat says it could happen". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-12-12. 
  42. ^ Canham, Matt (November 21, 2014). "Utah's Mia Love on committee overseeing banks". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2015-01-27. 
  43. ^ Ross, Chuck (January 6, 2015). "Republican Mia Love Joins Congressional Black Caucus, Group She Wants To Reform". The Daily Caller. Archived from the original on 2015-01-27. 
  44. ^ International Business Times article
  45. ^ Barabak, Mark Z. (May 29, 2012). "Mia Love breaks the GOP mold, but can she win?". LA Times. Archived from the original on 2012-08-19. 
  46. ^ Bruinius, Harry (November 5, 2014). "Mia Love, first black Republican woman in Congress, is 'solid gold' for GOP". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 2014-12-02. 
  47. ^ "Mia Love, Utah's 4th District", Sba-list.org (Susan B. Anthony List), archived from the original on 2012-10-24 
  48. ^ "Posting on Mia Love's 2012 campaign fiscal plan", ABC News
  49. ^ "2014 statement on spending", Love campaign website
  50. ^ Article on 2015 budget mentioning Love's support, Federal Times, 26 March 2015
  51. ^ "Issues", Mia Love for Congress, Friends of Mia Love, archived from the original on 2012-08-23 
  52. ^ Romboy, Dennis (January 5, 2012). "Love would 'take apart' Congressional Black Caucus if elected in Utah's 4th District". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  53. ^ Love, David A. (December 18, 2013). "Mia Love poised to make a political comeback". The Grio. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  54. ^ Fund, John (April 22, 2012). "Daughter of Haitian Immigrants is GOP Congressional Nominee in Utah". National Review Online (National Review). Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. 
  55. ^ Robinson, Doug (January 3, 2015). "Mr. (Mia) Love – The man behind the congresswoman". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 2015-01-27. 
  56. ^ Haas, Karen L. (February 28, 2013), Statists of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 6, 2012 (PDF), Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-11-04 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jim Matheson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah's 4th congressional district
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Barry Loudermilk
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom MacArthur
R-New Jersey