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. AintBuyinIt

    As recently as 1978 the Mormon church did not allow black men to join the priesthood. Basically black people were ostracized because their skin color showed they were cursed. It's in the Book of Mormon.

    In 1978 the IRS threatened the church's tax free status. Suddenly the "prophet" had a "vision" and they changed the rules (again).

    The power of money is simply amazing in the Mormon church (or any church).

    May 2, 2012 at 6:37 am |
    • The Champ

      Holy balls! They've got a prophet?

      May 2, 2012 at 6:41 am |
    • AintBuyinIt

      Their presidents are always considered prophets who speak directly to God.

      Also, Bishop Romney will be a powerful Mormon God on the planet Kolob (Google it).

      May 2, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • The Champ

      I already know about that mormon planet Kolob where god is supposed to be. I wonder if their god wears the same magic underwear they do? Hey, mormons. Does your god wear magic underwear too? You know, to protect himself from evil spirits?

      Say, are you able to point up to the sky at night and pick out your own planets now, or do you have to wait until you're dead and get to magic fake sky fairyland heaven?

      I love mormons, ya know? Really. They build some really sweet temples, all lavish and things with expensive trash all over the place. And there are still homeless people outside peeing on the streets outside the temples. But, mormons really help people. Ya know? They really help a lot of people.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • maxbianco


      May 2, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • attollo

      Yeah – and the Americans were so friendly to black people that it was Mormons being bad and "excluding them" *yawn*. Until 1976 you could kill a mormon on sight according to a state law. It was suicide already being a mormon in the US for most part of its coming forth add to the friendly and open warm feeling that was held against black people and you got a sure receipe for death and persecution...I think God mostly knows people and that he didnt need his Church to be more slaughtered then it was, or focus on the wrong issues. Blacks have always had a place in the church as members – just the males were not able to hold the Priesthood until 1978.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • AintBuyinIt

      LOL – As a kid in southern Idaho the arrogant Mormons would taunt us Christians by calling us Gentiles.

      If Christians are Gentiles then what are Mormons??

      May 2, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • The Champ


      Did you know how the mormon church started? You know joseph smith died in jail right? He got shot. You know why he was in jail? Do you know about the little war mormons started? Screw them. Too bad we can't still get a hunting license to sack one for the old fireplace. It's a stupid, terrible cult.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • QMAX1234

      That is so true. Mormonism was against black people and now Romney has a pawn to help draw voters to him.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  2. Woman

    Wish the interviewer had asked her more substantial questions than so much time on saying "you are so diverse". I would have liked to hear her response to the war on women's birth control. However, Nikki Haley deflected that by saying "what women really want to talk about is the economy." As if having a lot of kids is unrelated to the money you have.

    May 2, 2012 at 6:36 am |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      Like I stated in a previous post, her physical appearance is more important to them then the policies and changes she has to offer.

      May 2, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  3. 3rdEyeOpened

    This woman is only a tool that is being used to persuade blacks to vote for Mitt. Her politics are virtually redundant and irrelevant. It is her physical presence that is being utilized here. She's a diamond in the ruff in the Mormon church and Republican party. I guess the GOP really believes that blacks are so naive that they will vote just to put any black person if office. Herman Cain already debunked that myth, and so will she.

    May 2, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      correction, "in office" *

      May 2, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • The Champ

      I'm white.

      There are some white politicians in office right now.

      This has not persuaded me to vote for other white politicians.

      I have no idea what the hell it is you're trying to say.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      If you can't comprehend my post, then you have a personal issue that you must address. It's called comprehensive ability.
      First off, who cares if you are white, black, green or purple. Your skin tone is not the issue here. Plus, using your own peon-like example as an arguement is so moronic to the least bit. Just because YOU weren't persuaded as an INDIVIDUAL doesn't mean others in your case weren't as well. Speak for yourself and don't think everyone like yourself thinks and acts like you. I'm also white. But I'm smart enough to see and understand the fine print, unlike other ignorant buffons. Republicans use black representatives in their party for 1 reason only, to sway the Democratic vote. And I don't like most things Liberals stand for or the GOP. I'm a proud conservative Independent.

      May 2, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  4. Jerry

    Young lady, if you had any doubts, simply read the moronic comments posted by Angelic(cat) and Santos Torres and numerous other morons.

    Just, don't let these excuses of human beings sway you.

    May 2, 2012 at 6:31 am |
  5. odk1

    something is not right with republicans & mitt romney campaign, i see more mormon ad. everywhere and i ask myself why do they want people to join their religion, or for political reason? i think mormon politician should stop telling people to accept them but rather run their campaign.i dont care how mormon you are, as long as you dont practice poligarmy in my state.

    May 2, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • The Champ

      I'd be much happier if they didn't practice mormonism in my country as well.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:53 am |
  6. Jerry

    I am a life-long Democrat; but I am proud of you young lady. Now, you know you are going to be demonized by the Mr. Obama and his administration and most of my fellow Democrats.

    However, hang tough and be unafraid!!!

    May 2, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Realitybites

      You're about as much of a lifelong Democrat as I am a space alien. And President Obama has never demonized any black Republican for being a black Republican. You sir, are a troll.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • The Champ

      Trolls are consistently demonized by black republican Hindus like Bill Clinton and I won't take it anymore.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:37 am |
  7. Angelica

    So Mia, when your party purposefully engages in race baiting while campaigning and you accidentally get tagged in all of the hate email, are you going to stand up against racism.

    You were asked in another interview about how you felt when president Obama was elected and you skipped the question. Instead you decided to judge him based on his first four years using all the GOP 'buzz words' like big government and 'not what the American people want'. You clearly haven't done your homework on the President and don't seem to realize that the only reason they're calling you a star is because you're "black, mormon and a woman." Do you have any political accomplishments to share. You need to start highlighting those accomplishments if you have them because if you don't they'll continue to put you in your black, mormon woman box that you're already in....Yet you claim you don't allow folks to put you in a box.

    May 2, 2012 at 6:21 am |
  8. Santos Torres

    Mrs. Love, you're a sellout! For all the white faces you think love you, there are thousands more that hate your black ass! Just because you're black! Do you think just because you married a white guy, and are breeding halfbreed babies, they really accept you? Wake up dumpy! When they finish with you, you'll be nothing more than a memory!

    May 2, 2012 at 6:03 am |
    • yacon

      You are the real racist. . .

      May 2, 2012 at 6:05 am |
    • Woman

      You may have some legit points, but the way you express yourself is so crude and mean, it overshadows your message! And why do you have to call mixed people half-breed. They are 100% human just like you.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Realitybites

      Nothing he said makes him a racist. Persons like yourself use that term too frivolously. He is, as Woman put it, correct, but not very civil with his wording.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • The Champ

      I do believe it's safe to say that all politicians are sellouts. We can now move on to bigger and better things. Like french toast and delicious cups of fresh urine for breakfast.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • Mtheumer

      While I don't condone the comments made by the OP. The candidate needs to understand that the GOP needs to appear diverse. If they didn't, then she would not be relevant in the party (if she would even be in the party). Unfortunately, her comment about " don’t allow anybody to put me in a box.” has already happened as she is framed as a 1) Black 2) Female 3)Republican 4) Mormon. All four sides are already in place.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:01 am |
  9. setnommarih

    I am an atheist, but I support anyone who has a faith and follows its beliefs. The mormons have missionaries all over the 3rd world and definitely do more good than bad. Hate kills, I know, I hate haters.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:47 am |
  10. AtheismIsCrap

    Atheists craniums are like appendix. It would only cause too much trouble when contains something.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • checi

      I can tell you are full of the true religion because you spew hate.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    prayer changes things .

    May 2, 2012 at 5:34 am |
  12. nokoolaidcowboy

    GOPubes just keep getting more and more desperate. You can't read these stories without seeing the hilarity of what the right has become. lol

    May 2, 2012 at 5:30 am |
  13. Frogz

    Being a black mormon republican is like being a jewish nazi skinhead.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:59 am |
    • bigboxes

      I LOL'd

      May 2, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • yacon

      Mormons' have collectively never hated blacks or anyone else. They did distinguish between races, which I found distasteful, but "hate" is not what the Mormons' did.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • The Champ

      According to multiple book of moron or whatever scriptures, being black was a curse from god that could be cured.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:34 am |

    Mia should quickly consult Herb Cain to find out about the dirty tricks GOBP who sent white women to swiftboat him.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:57 am |
  15. Morning1Sun

    Mia Love you are supporting the wrong party. Get with the Democrats. You must be a nice person, but you don't want to be a Repub. Yuk!!

    May 2, 2012 at 4:57 am |
  16. The Champ

    I have NEVER met an intelligent mormon. Bunch of brainwashed, magic underwear wearing retards they are.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • bill

      You, sir, have never met a Mormon. As a Mormon, I can tell you that graduates of BYU are among the leaders of this country. They teach at the best universities, They have the lowest divorce rate, the lowest teen pregnancy rate. For those who follow the Word of Wisdom (the dietary law) they live longer than those that don't. Go in a Mormon church. Introduce yourself. Meet the congregation. Pick any Meeting House anywhere. If you let yourself, you will be very impressed. If all you have is hatred, then read 1 john all 5 chapters. There you will learn what Heavenly Father says about those who hate.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:13 am |
    • The Champ

      I've read the entire bible multiple times, as well as the koran. Believe me, there's nothing your worthless cult can offer that the other brainwashed religions can't. Please, take your scripture elsewhere, pogue.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • Angelica

      Champ, you crack me up! Headed to the blog now....can't wait for today's post!

      May 2, 2012 at 6:23 am |
    • The Champ



      May 2, 2012 at 6:33 am |
  17. ltd

    I don't even know what to say really. This is like a shark with a laser beam strapped to its head.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:13 am |
  18. truthfulster@gmail.com

    Why doesn't CNN or the writer put any of her opinions in this story, are they afraid that the publicity would do her any good? She better be careful because a black republican is about as commonplace as a dodo bird. She will be put under a microscope and watched and listened to very carefully.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:12 am |
  19. tERRY mOORE

    Hey,congratulations, Mia Love..... You have managed to forget ( or, maybe, just maybe, you have managed to never know....) that Mormons were (and, deep down, probably still are) the most bigoted and racist of all Christians denominations.... So, kudos, Lady...Me, I have this odd memory that prevents me from accepting a religion that once said that black people were "unfinished by the Lord", a sort of " failed attempt"...
    I suppose that opportunism will lead anyone anywhere, even where one should not go.... (smile).

    May 2, 2012 at 3:07 am |
    • Jharis

      Yeah sounds like you took out of their belief to assume the worst of people. They hate people sooo much they are usually one of the first humanitarian organizations at any natural disaster. Yep those Mormons are just hating away by helping people from underprivileged countries gain an education so they can be productive members of society and improve their own community. Those mormons are haters.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:40 am |
    • maxbianco


      Simply Not true!!
      they are Not, nor have they ever been "among the first" in responding to disasters. KNow what you're talking about.

      tmoore is correct. mormons have a detailed history of bigotry and have, until just a few years ago, defined african americans as "sub-human" it is completely laughable that this woman styles herself as morman... she should have read the book (of morman) first.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:12 am |
    • bill

      The most bigoted and racist of all Christians denominations?? You never went to church in North Florida, Alabama, Georgia, etc... I went to many diff churches accompanied by my black friends. The least that happened was we were shunned. Not spoken to, backs turned on us. The worst was we were escorted out to the parking lot and a wall of good upstanding Christian Boys made sure we would not sully their sacred grounds again. That has never happened at a Mormon meetinghouse, even before the revelation. Thanks for becoming a learned individual.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:20 am |
    • The Champ


      You still haven't convinced me to join your cult.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • Jharis


      Where do you base your info? An online website with information from former mormons who claim they read somewhere that a former leader made a claim that blacks are sub-human? Its interesting that mormons get stuck as being the racist church but most southern churchs up until the civil rights movement, and probably still, never accepted black members into their congregations when mormons did.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  20. loops08

    Can you say Microagression! This reporters comments marginalize Love. What a biggot. Looks like a new target for CNN and Democrats because we know how they love targeting conservative women, conservative African Americans, and now Mormons. Do they know that Senator Reid is Mormon? Why not just stick to the issues CNN?

    May 2, 2012 at 2:57 am |
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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.