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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. William Demuth

    Does that make her an Aunt Tom?

    May 2, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Landlubber

      Technically, you would be incorrect. I almost smiled, even. Keep trying. You sometimes make me laugh a lot.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  2. nookster

    She apparently doesn't have a real sense of black persecution by the GOP in America. Or maybe her dumbing down religion has clouded her ability to really think.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Reality is that she is an individual that has found the Republican party to be relevant to her. She happens to be black, but that simple fact does not make her representative of anything more than a minority of her race. It just acts to highlight how few blacks are interested in the GOP.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • djwazu

      Dark skin is a curse from God, the result of our sin, or the sin of our ancestors. If sufficiently righteous, a dark-skinned person will become light-skinned. Mormon belief! They forgot to tell her!

      May 2, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  3. drod

    Really? The Republicans think the American people are really stupid. They first get a black RNC chairman to try to get the black vote. Then they get a woman to run around with Mitt to try to get the woman vote. Then they get a "latino" to get photo ops as a possible VP candidate to get the latino vote. Only when they have to do they open the door to their party. Now we see a republican, black, woman, mormon being praised as the next GOP "rising star". Give me a break. All they need now is for her to be gay, handicapped, and a vet.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • drod

      And her name is "Mia Love"? As in My Love? The Republicans think they just hit the jackpot.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Do they not realize that each time they roll out a new token member it merely highlights how little they have to offer anyone that is not a white right-winger or white and rich or both.
      Only when it is NOT news that a strong Republican is black will the party seem anything but exclusionary.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • djwazu

      Lets not forget Nit Robmey's history!
      Successful in the hedge fund market "Producing nothing, dealing with no real goods, creating no jobs, gutting companies to sell on a quick turn-around. You, really want that kind of "experience" in the WH? Not me. 50 % of people live in poverty in the U.S we have socialism and the rich but not for real people?

      May 2, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • drod

      And she's a daughter of immigrants? Wow. The Republicans can't wait to push her out into the light so they can say "See I told you we're diverse". The American people will not be made fools of anymore.
      Obama 2012

      May 2, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  4. Mark

    VOTE FOR MITT ROMNEY!
    (Brought to you by the morons who were stupid enough to vote for George W. Bush, not once, but twice – thereby leading to the downfall of our country!

    May 2, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  5. Glenn

    CNN seams to be obessed by Mormons. This "news" network can't seem to get their head out of the sand. Who cares? If CNN really wanted to make news they'd research and report on the founding of Mormonism. Wow! That would get some readers because the story is filled with lies, Masonic rituals (stolen), polygamy, changing doctrine....particularly on the subject of "dark skinned people". Take the lid off this bizzarre religion and you'll have a real story.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Nate

      They are saving that for the general election

      May 2, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  6. Junior

    Another story confirming the fact that it literally doesn’t take anything to be a rising star in the GOP. Sad that things are that bad there.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • djwazu

      Dark skin is a curse from God, the result of our sin, or the sin of our ancestors. If sufficiently righteous, a dark-skinned person will become light-skinned. You hear that Aunt Tomia maybe they didn't tell her?

      Mormonism 101

      May 2, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  7. rosa, b'ham al

    Wow, she must really love being treated like a second class citizen. Now only if she was gay, then I would just say she was into abuse.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  8. Sagebrush Shorty

    Romney running mate??

    May 2, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Tr1Xen

      Nah. Not enough experience.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Perfect. That seems to be the latest criteria for GOP running mates.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  9. Willie12345

    It's sad that there is so much hate coming from the left towards this young woman.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm on the right, and while I certainly don't feel hate towards this woman, it is clear that she is just a token black for Romney to try and get some of the black vote, which he has about 0% of at the moment.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Landlubber

      No hate here. I just don't like the racist right-wing religious nut-jobs who seek to damage this country as best they can.

      They don't mind using some religious person's ignorance and delusions against them, nor do they mind using "token" blacks and other minorities despite a large number of clear indications that they are racist, h.om.ophobic sociopaths.

      I don't know if you are like that, but this woman is just a tool and not an independent human being given who she is, how she was raised, and what she is doing now.
      Why hate the whip that bloodies your back or the boot upon your neck?
      She, as a Mormon Republican, will almost surely vote against the interests of Americans who do not share such sociopathic ideologies as she identifies with.
      She's got a nice smile, but she's a member of the party that is stabbing America in the back. I don't trust her to do the right thing because she espouses ideologies that are clearly wrong and sociopathic. I'm not saying she couldn't change her mind and work to help others, but that is not what Republicans do these days.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • drod

      Her comes the infamous Faux-Noise "I'm a little victim and the big bad left wing is picking on me" strategy. It's getting old and people see right through it.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Blackened

      What else do they have to offer?

      May 2, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  10. steve

    she's a joke
    she wants to make a name for herself and this is the way to it.
    she just loves to startle. she'll fizzle out in a matter of time

    May 2, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Tr1Xen

      Why do you say that? Because she's Black? If she was White, you wouldn't be saying that. Racist.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Rick

      It's ironic that the left has labeled Republicans as racist. Just read the comments here. The left is not as enlightened as it thinks it is.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Tr1xen, it is possible that some people don't like her for reasons other than her race. Why do people always assume that? I know plenty of people who don't like Obama and it has nothing to do with his skin color. They look at Obama the same way they looked at Gore or Clinton.

      May 2, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  11. Kimberlina

    So much anger and hatred in most of these comments! This type of vitriol is exactly what's wrong with our country. I don't care what political party you side with, what color your skin is, what religion you are or how you feel about religion. We should be able to be civil in our discussions, and even in our disagreements.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Landlubber

      The problem is entirely the fault of people who are so schizophrenic they cannot abide any criticism whatsoever.

      In this case, it would be anyone who cannot stand having their "faith" discussed in an unemotional manner, as well as people who have been indoctrinated in any number of illogical and schizophrenic ideologies, such as tea-baggers, who refuse to listen, or even discuss intelligently, anything that threatens their "beliefs".

      I shrug. People get offended. I cannot stop them from being offended, as that is their choice for whatever reason.
      I get offended, too, at certain things, but I can at least realize why and how I came to be offended, whereas a religious person is mentally incapable of facing any such thing and will get quite extremely offended without any legitimate reason to do so.

      May 2, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Nate

      It seems like most americans have lost the ability to empathize. Instead of trying to see things from another person's perspective, we criticize, demonize and tear them down. There's no rational thinking or logic anymore.

      Then we have people like Landlubber who wants to toss everyone in a box and classify them a certain way...

      May 2, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  12. Tom

    I would never let myself be used as a race and religious pawn for any political party. Sadly, she and other attention w hores do so now, two types of people are going to hold her up high. The gop "we loves blacks too, kind of, sometimes, I guess, when they're like her." And then you have the mormons who will be like "Oh, look, a black, we don't discriminate, see, here's our one black member to prove it!" What a joke.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  13. Dr. Robert J Foster BYU Grad

    I know Mia from our days at BYU together. I was the first Black Student body President there. Although we do not agree with her public policy she is no token. She truly believes what she says. She has been given an opportunity and has run with it. I applaud her for willingness to get involve in Government. So many people stand on the side and complain. She has not done that.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Hey you, quit using logic. The CNN Belief blog will be no part of that sir.

      May 2, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  14. TheWiz71

    Why would any person of African descent want to be a Mormon – unless they hate their ethnic heritage. Considering what the Book of Mormon says about the origins of different ethnicities (its essentially a book that essentially seeks to justify white power and privilege), she obviously has a bad image of herself.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Rick

      Your understanding of the Book of Mormon is incorrect. If you want to see why a black would be Mormon, go to blacklds.org

      May 2, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Brad

      LOL!!! Sad but true, as a black man, I cannot understand why any black person would be affiliated with ANY of the ideologies of the GOP Mormonism. The only reason she's a "rising star" is because she can be used to their advantages, when will my people wake up!!!

      May 2, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Nate

      GOP Mormonism?

      May 2, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  15. Tom

    Mia darling, your base can't stand the color of your skin. Didn't someone tell you you were black?

    May 2, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Art

      Good one!!!

      May 2, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • rob

      Thank you Tom Some body needs to SLAP the black off that colored womans skin. How can you join a group who's belief system Preached that being black was a curse from God until 1978 when the Savior spoke to the Morman leader and said now is the time to forgive & recognize black folks for their SIN comitted against God. .......And how can you also be a republican poor & black you are going against yourown self interest................P.S. you know Gladys Knight is a Morman.........I don't know that she is republican.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  16. Planet Kolob

    Kolob calling all Mormons. Come in Mormons.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      I don't know why, but this made me laugh a lot.

      May 2, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  17. gj2001

    Congrats GOP. You found a three-for-one.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  18. DG

    I happen to know Mayor Love personally...and I can tell you she is not qualified to run for the House of Reps.....it's astounding that she's actually got this far....she literally has no experience and her goal is simply to make history as the first GOP black, female conservative.....unbelievable....

    May 2, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Art

      Sounds like another Sarah Palin,Michele Bachman,and "witch from Delaware" O'donnell type.Republicans welcome all kinds of "nuts" into their fold.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • MacFarren

      Any more qualified than anyone else who is there? I'd take a 'unqualified' conservative over a 'qualified' liberal any day.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Al-NY,NY

      And so confirms the "conservative" mindset. Put someone with no experience whatsover in power over someone with experience but doesn't respond as if they have a "purity" chip emplanted in their head. The mindless drones that follow conservative dogma with no free will of their own are a joke

      May 2, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  19. TownC

    I love it! A person who defies all of the liberal stereotypes of what a conservative and a Mormon are like. Maybe she isn't crazy like many posts suggest. Maybe there is more to being a conservative and a Mormon than the liberal establishment would have you believe. Maybe they are racists and bigots and maybe they will accept everyone. Liberals, think for yourselves! Investigate the facts! Be open minded!

    May 2, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • bizziel

      Lol, be open minded?! Think for yourself!? If that was the case more people wouldn't be sucked into sham that is religion. Your way off base.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Art

      We "Liberals" keep forgetting about the Mormon Magic Underwear.We bad.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You shouldn't be so open minded that your brain falls out.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  20. D-man5005

    So I've been reading a lot of stuff trashing the LDS church, and people are perfectly allowed to think it, but I am interested in knowing, what makes the church so bad? I would rather not hear anything about how it believes in God and the theological part, because I find it irrelevant. I can't see how believing a God exists or does not exist directly effects one's actions. Instead, I'm interested in knowing what actions the Mormon church practices as of now that makes it so evil. I see too many people calling the church a cult or making claims without providing any reason. I'm not asking this in order to attack or defend the church, but I personally am curious to know. And please, provide actual sources/reasons

    May 2, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • bizziel

      All religions are cults. There is no god. It is all make believe. Faith is a crutch for people who can't deal with the facts.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • D-man5005

      thank you for pointing out what I said is irrelevant. But for the sake of argument, God doesn't exist and the mormons are just worshiping a fantasy right now. Now with that aside, please tell me something not having to do with a god that makes the church so bad. Again, I'm just curious to know what.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Jordan

      The church is based widely on providing service for others. As a group, I have never met an LDS person who seemed 'evil' in anyway. They are just a group of people who try to do the right thing. I think a lot of people get hung up on the political views of the members (Abortion... gay marriage... etc) but from what i've seen, they largely are just trying to help people in need from all walks of life. Also, They teach good values, high standards and encourage building strong families. I don't see what is so wrong with it... But thats just my opinion.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • bizziel

      It preys on the weak, it takes money from the brainwashed, it perpetuates hate towards those who don't agree with their views. The list goes on and on.
      Not all who are religious are bad people (duh). The basic fundamentals of all religions are flawed. They are a business.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Dusty2701

      Bizziel and D-man5005...you antheist are really something. You don't believe in anything but yourselves. You have no faith, no hope, no charity because you're too selfish. Life is a big joke to you because you don't think of life as a gift. It's all about you! As a Viet Nam vet I can tell you first hand that when things got really tough deep in the jungle the antheists were praying just as hard as everyone else...to a God they didn't even believe in. Those that were mortally wounded and new they were dying all of a sudden became believers. Just in case they were wrong, I suppose. Amazing how dying people change their way of thinking near the end of their life.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • D-man5005

      @Dusty2701, first of all thank you for your service in the military. Secondly, I actually am a Mormon. I never said anything for or against the church, I was simply wanting to know what others reasons were for believing the church and its people are so bad. Also, when I was saying that God does not exist, I was saying so hypothetically, in order to get away from people basing their opinions of the church and its people on their belief in a god. I can't see how believing a God does or does not exist makes a church better or worse, so I was trying to get away from an argument that can't be won.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • drod

      You want to know about the Mormon faith do some research on your own. Don't ask for information on news postings.

      May 2, 2012 at 10:00 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.