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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.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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.”

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- 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. The Real Tom Paine

    Well, she can't be any more of a nut job than Alan West.

    May 2, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  2. Kim Bailey

    She'll be another member of the Black Caucus.
    That's all I care. Vote against the gorilla or die trying to make'em human., said a Pastor

    May 2, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • SallyinChicago

      She's Haitian and they are Caribbean. Caribbeans tend to be very staunch conservatives. Even though she grew up American. She couldn't say one good thing about Obama, then and now as a President.

      May 2, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  3. Emilio

    Mia Love is just another freak cultist, and in her case, someone displaying latent Stockholm syndrome. Siding with and being enthusiastic about this blatant racist cult is really maddening and reflects poorly on her. She's just like all the other black Republicans foisted upon us: they're insane, they lack a sense of social objectivity, and they might even influence the prism through which others view black people.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • TownC

      Or you could just believe her and admit she is a sincere person.

      May 2, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • WOW

      I sincerely hope you are not as ignorant as the words of your post suggest.

      May 2, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  4. Numyorangay

    Anyway that "we" as minorities can be close to white people – because we desire to be part of the majority – "we" crossover, deny our own roots – to feel "better" about ourselves (?), to seek protection through inclusion (?). Is inclusion a natural state, motvation or desire (?). I think about these things constantly; have I sought out inclusion in the dominant world to feel some false sense of achievement and/or acceptance. I know in my earlier years when I would "align" myself with "white" values, I felt I was different and doing something special, and then I realized what Whoopi Goldberg said in her comedy routine years ago about the little girl who wanted to be white with the long flowing hair, "you still gon be black." Special = special needs = retarded. . .so you ended up where you started from.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:56 am |
  5. Rational Libertarian

    Lisa Harris smart smart smart smart smart smart smart smart.

    Martin Harris dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:45 am |
  6. Annunaki40

    It does not matter about her being Black and certainly a Mormon means nothing. It was the Mormons also who stated that Blacks were cursed, this is something I heard for myself while growing up in the South, and it did not come from the Southern Baptist either. So putting an alleged Black female out from does not sway the African American Community not one bit.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:44 am |
  7. Rational Libertarian

    A black Mormon is akin to a white member of Nation of Islam.

    Why can't people accept the fact that there is almost certainly no god/gods, and if there is, I doubt it/they are so insecure that they need to be constantly reassured of their magnificence by needing the inhabitants of one planet to believe in them and worship them?

    May 2, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • julibear

      There are many many black Mormons! Not unusual at all. Most come from Jamaica, Haiti and other Carribbean islands where Mormon missionaries made huge inroads. Not taking a side, just stating a fact.

      May 2, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I realise there are black Mormans, as there are (very few) white members of Nation of Islam.

      I meant, purely from a theological sense, that it boggles my mind why a black person would be a Mormon, when they are clearly seen as racially inferior within the church.

      May 2, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  8. Reality

    Being a black, female Mormom does not change the following:

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    Putting the kibosh on religion to include Mormonism:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "
    ===========================================================================================

    May 2, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • TownC

      You forgot to mention that Darwin said humans came from monkeys or that many evolutionists today say life was created on the backs of crystals.

      May 2, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Reality

      What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

      3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

      o Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  9. MuyGuapo

    How can she be a poster child for Mormons??? According to their own teaching, she has a spiritual deficit due to the color of her skin. She has the mark of Cain. Due to her sinful state, how could she possibly be someone that the Mormon church wants to highlight?

    May 2, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • GySgtG

      i am not mormon but i live close to the temple and know there are many blacks and asians in the church.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • The Champ

      Oh wow. Some princess lives close to the temple and now he's an expert on the mormon cult. Give him a hand people. He's a genuine mormon scholar.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • TownC

      Go to Mormon.org for the facts about Mormons. You wouldn't ask a Muslim about what Baptists believe, neither would you ask a Democrat what Republicans believe. Go straight to the source.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  10. Ray Comfort

    Bananas. I'd like to talk to you about them today, and what I can do with a banana. And where I can place this banana. You see, the Lord JESUS made this banana for my hand to grip, hard. And it is shaped perfectly for placing in certain places by gripping it with my hand. Do you think evolution did that? No sir. Jesus CREATED ME and THIS BANANA, shaped just like a man's whizzer, to place in my bum.

    Evolution isn't real people. Jesus created everything in 6 days and then he rested on the 7th. Praise the Jesus. Amens.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:31 am |
  11. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Good for you but your position and affiliation with the Mormon church aint goanna get Mitt Romney the African-American vote!

    May 2, 2012 at 7:23 am |
  12. FactChecker

    It takes all kinds. I once knew a Jewish man who said he admired Hitler.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  13. Atheist in the Closet

    Mormons hates black, don't give importance to women and practice polygammy.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • GySgtG

      ignorant rant. mormon are some of kindest people in the country.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Time Traveller

      It seems like the present time you're in now is much in the future for you. Go back to the past, pal.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • ABCD

      OR....

      Reading is still foreign for atheists.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • DEVIL WORSHIPER 666 SATAN

      THINKING AND EVERYTHING ELSE REQUIRING ANY LEVEL OF INTELLIGENCE WHATSOEVER IS STILL FOREIGN TO BELIEVERS.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  14. The Champ

    South Park did an episode about mormonism. It was spot on. It portrayed them as a bunch of overly nice, brainwashed idiots. I thought it was a very accurate portrait. Very fitting with politics indeed!

    May 2, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • GySgtG

      Awesome you are a bigot. got it

      May 2, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • The Champ

      Oh no. Some moron called me a bigot! All because I know the cult is full of garbage.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • GySgtG

      i am not mormon and you are a bigot no matter who calls you one.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • The Champ

      I didn't say you were a mormon.

      And just FYI, if you think the term "bigot" offends me in any way. You're a mind cripple. Do you have any idea how many self-important idiots use the term "bigot" in these comments because they don't have anything creative to say?

      You know what? You deserve a prize for your awesomeness.

      Who wants to give this ramrod toolbag a nice fisting?

      May 2, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • GySgtG

      Champ,
      The term bigot was in no means meant to offend you. it was meant to describe you. if i wanted to offend you i would have brought up your questionable upbringing and education. But after your last comment i do believe you are nothing more than a troll with no added value to anyone's conversation. have a great day

      May 2, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • The Champ

      Oh sweet balls. You're describing me. Hecky Gosh. I never would have figured that out unless you hadn't described it in those terms. Thank you master genius for pointing this out. You know nothing about my education or upbringing. You may guess all you'd like, but you will surely be incorrect. Go ahead... try : )

      I can only guess your level of education based on your choice of username. The terms "crusty, washed up" and "broken" come to mind in describing you.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  15. clarke

    She seems like a very bright, caring person. We could sure use someone who can do the job and has new world ideas. I am not concerned about her race,color or greed as long as she can do the job and work for all the people and what is important for our country, is what really matters. We could sure use some fresh idea's that is for sure. I wish her the best.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • The Champ

      You're right. None of us should be concerned about her greed.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:06 am |
  16. AintBuyinIt

    It's no mystery that BYU was nearly the last school to integrate it's sports teams.

    It got so bad that the black players from opposing teams refused to play them.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:03 am |
  17. GySgtG

    Awesome, yet another balck woman joins the ranks of the coservatives. blacks are gaining in number in the conservative ranks. we will soon be a much larger number.

    May 2, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • AintBuyinIt

      ...until they read the truth.

      My hunch is the Mormon leaders didn't tell this lady a thing about their dark, racist past.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • The Champ

      Oh man!! Just IMAGINE!!! If ONE more person joins the conservatives, that number of new members will have nearly doubled!! Holy nipples!

      May 2, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • GySgtG

      Champ conservatives out number liberals 3 to 1 in the US and many of us are black.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • The Champ

      You must be under the impression that I give a shit about political parties.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • JustSayin

      when you say "we will soon be a much larger number" are you speaking race or conservatives?

      May 2, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  18. Joseph Mzutrnski

    good for her – i aint a mormon but live and let live i say – better to have a mormon or a muslim than some POS atheist who has no real respect for life, for others...because "everything is just an accident" or some other tripe

    May 2, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • The Champ

      I respect life.

      Just not yours.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Td

      Haha. Atheist are pacifist. Maybe read the research?

      May 2, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • AintBuyinIt

      Were the Mormon leaders who converted her honest about the church's racist past?

      May 2, 2012 at 7:08 am |
  19. Jerry

    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.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Hey "guy/girl?, everything I leaned, I learned from you! Thanks so much for being such a good teacher!!!

    Also, if I am a troll, Master Trolls (like you) need to be nice to Freshman trolls (like me).

    Thank you sooooo much...

    Oops! Have to get to work. Some of us don't depend on the "dole" all the time. See "ya".

    May 2, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • The Champ

      Hey stupid, you were supposed to hit the reply button under the original post. Now you look like an idiot.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • The challenger

      It seems that your brain neurons are all shaken during our fight.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • The Champ

      Such a simple insult, and you couldn't even articulate it properly.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  20. tonietta

    tha'ts it...i'm converting to mormonism....

    May 2, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • The Champ

      I read somewhere that mormons have to drink the pee of the entire congregation of a church before they're allowed to sign up for heaven or whatever.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Champagne

      It's either you don't read or don't know how to read. Time to sleep little lad, sleepless nights too much partying and booze has already taken its toll.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • The Champ

      Is English your fourth language?

      May 2, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Time Traveller

      Nope, it's just your brain had shrank into the size of a quark. That's why.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • The Champ

      That's why what?

      May 2, 2012 at 7:25 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.