May 1st, 2012
02:41 PM ET

House candidate and rising GOP star is black, female - and Mormon

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - To call Mia Love a minority is an understatement. She’s a black woman who won an upset primary race to become the Republican candidate in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. If elected, she’d be the first black Republican congresswoman in the House of Representatives.

Love, who has attracted lots of national Republican support, also stands out because of her religion: She’s a Mormon. The politician is a poster child for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ campaign to present a more diverse face to a historically very white church.

“There are a lot of people who have tried to define me as a person,” Love, a daughter of Haitian immigrants, told CNN’s Kyra Phillips in an interview Tuesday. “I’m not a victim, and I don’t allow anybody to put me in a box.”

Speaking from Salt Lake City, she said, “There may be some challenges. But ... I love this place and love the people that are here, and I represent their beliefs and values.”

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Love is featured in a video series produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of its “I’m a Mormon” campaign, which aims to bring the faith of about 14 million members worldwide into the mainstream.

In the CNN interview, Love talked about how Mormonism would affect Mitt Romney’s candidacy more than her own, which is happening in the most Mormon state in the nation.

“You know I don’t think those are the issues that Americans really care about,” Love said when asked about the role of Romney’s religion in the presidential campaign. “I think Americans care about jobs, the economy; they care about the debt and deficit spending. … Being a Mormon is part of who he is as a person, and I don’t think it should deter from the issues.”

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Love’s “I’m a Mormon” video shows her working as the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, her current job.

“I am the mayor of Saratoga Springs and I love it,” she says in the video. “I get to make this life better for me and better for others.

“My friends from back home are always saying, ‘What are you doing in Utah?'” she says in the video, referring to her East Coast upbringing. “What they don’t know is that when I came here I felt accepted.”

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism • Politics • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (2,038 Responses)
  1. jk

    when is some one going to bring up in the mormon faith no woman can get to heaven without a man. if the man doesnt
    go she will not enter heaven either

    May 2, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Boo

      Um, which man are you referring to? Mormons believe that all righteous women will go to heaven.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Brett

      Probably the same time someone brings up the fact that a man can't go to heaven without a woman. We are reliant on each other as eternal partners. Nice try on spinning a lie.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Boo

      Yep, what Brett says.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  2. Wim

    Another person who's bought into the fraud of a known con man. Doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence in her critical thinking skills.

    May 2, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Boo

      Hmmm... Obvious that you don't know what you are talking about. Are you claiming to have critical thinking skills?

      May 2, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  3. Jesus is Lord!

    Black Female Mormon? Doesn't she know that her religion claims that blacks are inferior and are the products of Lucifer falling from the earth? I think she's needs to look a little deeper and find out what her religion is really about. I pray she opens her heart to the truth of the one true Savior, Jesus Christ. It makes absolutely no sense for a black or minority to be a Mormon!

    May 2, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • nairb247

      You might want to look a little deeper, you couldn't be more wrong in your statements. Seriously, no wonder the LDS religion is so misunderstood it is ignorant comments like that.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • souptwins

      She already has opened her heart to the one true Lord Jesus. She's a member of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints, after all.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  4. zip

    Do a wiki search on Parley P. Pratt. He was Mitt Romney's great grandfather. He was killed by a jealous husband because he was messing around with the man's wife. Oh yeah, he also had 12 wives. Damndest Christians I ever heard of.

    May 2, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Boo

      How often are you going to keep posting the same (untrue) thing over and over? And you really believe everything you read in Wiki? LOL!!

      May 2, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • zip

      Just teaching America the truth... the truth is a b-tch, isn't it? Just doing God's work, you twisted kook.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • souptwins

      There goes zip with his fascination with all things 19th century again.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Brett

      I'm starting to see that ZIP is the number of original thoughts you have. Maybe you should stop using wiki as your source of truth and try doing some actual research. Maybe attend a sacrament meeting? Something? Anything but read other people's thoughts on a web page. When I was younger, we used to call that plagiarism. Seriously dude, one original thought.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Kelly

      I guess "zip' is also your IQ and not just your name. Even if what you post was true, what does it have to do with Romney?

      May 2, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  5. robrodriguez

    Mormons used to say blacks can't get to heaven, and then Mitt Romney needed votes, so anything is possible.

    May 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • nairb247

      Not even close to true. They never said it and they never believed it.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Kelly

      Lot of bad things in history. Romney is not responsible for every bad act comitted by a Mormom. Your moniker suggests that you might be Hispanic, the Spanish/Mexicans treated Indians very shamefully in the past. With your line of reasoning I guesss that is all your personal fault then?

      May 2, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  6. zip

    On this Belief blog, there is a story called "A rare tour of a Mormon temple" In the comments section is a short animation called "What Mormons believe" Watch it. After you throw up, not only will you realize Mormons aren't Christian, but you'll want to invade Utah and restore democracy.

    May 2, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  7. Jesus Cristo

    Mormon is a KKKULT! Is not in the bible...

    May 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Boo

      Um yeah, and you probably believe the sky is green too. Not sure what you are referring to about the Bible – Catholic, Baptist, Protestant, Evangelist also not in the Bible.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • nairb247

      Show me the word Catholic in the bible, or show me the word Presbyterian in the Bible or how about Lutheran. None of them are in the Bible. FYI Mormon is a nickname, They are official known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

      You might want to learn why the call themselves that.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  8. Doveab

    Message to Hispanics, Blacks + Unsuspecting Women:
    The Dem party (of today) is not your friend....the leftist agenda is to keep you stupid and dependent....unable to make your own decisions and create your own wealth (I.e. jobs, economy). Wake up, folks, and break from the evil government chains of doom! The government ruins just about everything it touches. Read up and see that you are being used and you (we all) are better than a welfare mentality hell. Godless libs have an agenda that is not in your best interest. READ UP!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • zip

      You're to angry to be a Mormon. Paid poster, huh?

      May 2, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  9. Jesus Cristo

    That is one black cult member i would not vote for!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  10. Ant

    I hope u don't let GOP use u as a papet sister. Does she believe in the mormon book " black is a curse"?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  11. Tee

    More CNN race baiting.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  12. gwenael

    The fact that she is black women doesn't make what she believes better than what the other GOP candidates think

    May 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  13. Rob

    she can do what ever she wants. doesn't mean other african americans will follow. i'll bet the farm they won't

    May 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • souptwins

      Won't matter since there are very many in her congressional district anyway and those that do live there, don't care.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • souptwins

      oops– are NOT many

      May 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  14. FredomStong

    She is a great example of diversity for hire.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  15. Doveab

    God Bless her!!!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Kelly

      Ahhh, the racist reveals himself..

      May 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Kelly

      My apologies, my last comment was not meant for you.. I am trying to do too many things at once an replied to the wrong post.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  16. Abinadi

    If you will look at Mia's face, you will notice happiness. Too bad some of you are too busy being hateful biggots to have any. If anyone would like some, they can go to mormon.org.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • zip

      Same expression they had at Jonestown. Kool Aid, anyone?

      May 2, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  17. Doveab

    Good for her! Successful black women are attractive and those people seem to be the ones that stop believing in the big government, lefty lies.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Aces Full Mike

      tru dat

      May 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  18. Mario

    She's a disgrace to women and African Americans. Just look at her record, she's just another typical delusional greedy republican bigot.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Doveab

      Leftist Mario need to be deported. He is a paid troll

      May 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Kelly

      Yeah Mario, how dare she think for herself. Pretty soon she will be thinking that she can do for herself too, without government help. She needs to stop this now and get back to being a Democrat zombie waiting for orders from Nancy Pelosi..

      May 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • dc

      Mario, either you are just wierd, or you have some REALLY BIG ISSUES to work on.......

      May 2, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  19. JC

     They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world John 17:16. These are the words of Jesus. The Mormons are not following the teachings of Jesus.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • MalcolmXcrement

      Racist much?? Do you say the same thing about Jews??

      May 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • nairb247

      What in the world does that have to do with anything?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Sven

      I've got news for you. No one is successfully following the teachings of Jesus.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  20. Skipper

    Black female Mormon........ The only thing more rare: Unicorn

    May 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • nairb247

      That was pretty funny.

      But a Black Mormon Democrat would be more rare – all there those exist too.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • dc

      Wrong! The most rare thing is an open-minded liberal Democrat! To find one that could post logical arguments instead of venom and downgrading name calling would be virtually impossible!

      May 2, 2012 at 12:09 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.