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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.”

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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. marctheduck

    Sad how the left suddenly go hypocrital against their own most cherished tenants as soon as they don't fit what they want for themselves. Go ahead and "crucify" this lady. She is a woman (screw women's rights!), black (screw minorities!), a mormon (screw anyone with religious beliefs! Unless they're muslims, or budhists... those are good!), and a conservative (blasphemy! crucify her!). LOL – you libs are really twisted!

    May 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bah Rain

      Nothing you said makes any sense at all. Care to try again, fool?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • marctheduck

      Ok, Bahrain... let me try to make it simpler for you... you speak diversity but if it goes against your political party it's wrong. You speak women's rights, but if it goes against your political party it's wrong. You think religion is wrong... unless it's one of the ones in vogue in liberal circles. It's called the hypocriscy of the left and it is so all over this blog that it's laughable that you refuse to acknowledge it. Make sense now?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  2. WASP

    i'm confused. if god stop talking to humans two thousand years ago; why do the mormons even exist? how could god give moses stone tablets and give the mormons gold tablets? are jews lower on god's order of things? how could a noble metal that reacts with absolutely nothing and lasts forever just disappear? didn't the bible wanr of false prophets? what would that make john smith if god stop talking to us two thousand years ago? hmmmmm just a thought.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • marctheduck

      I dunno – what about Islam? Care to tackle that one?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • brett

      i'm confused.
      Yes you are.

      if god stop talking to humans two thousand years ago; why do the mormons even exist?
      Did he stop talking to humans? Does God change?

      how could god give moses stone tablets and give the mormons gold tablets?
      How could God talk to Adam, inspire and lead many other prophets, give Moses tablets, then Jesus gives more information, then the Apostles write according to inspiration...maybe it's a pattern of knowledge over time by God.

      are jews lower on god's order of things?
      Are Jews higher than others who follow the teachings of God?

      how could a noble metal that reacts with absolutely nothing and lasts forever just disappear?
      How could a dead man rise again? or a blind man see? How could a great sea be separated by the voice of a prophet? If you can answer these things with faith, but not understand someone else's point of view, and critisize it...you're the reason I'm losing faith in humanity.

      didn't the bible wanr of false prophets? what would that make john smith if god stop talking to us two thousand years ago?
      Your god may have stopped talking to you...just as the Jews said to Jesus, but mine has not. You may believe that God is now sitting back watching, observing, but having no interaction with us, but I do not. Your god, despite saying he will never change...the same yesterday, today, and forever, has changed. Mine has not.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  3. nairb247

    and by the way Joseph you are also misinformed. Mormons believe that they are saved only through Christ. However, what you are saying is that by faith alone you are saved. So I can say I have faith in Christ and then go beat my wife and kids, but because I say I have faith in Christ I will still be saved.

    I can have faith in Christ but ignore my neighbor who is in need an only think of myself but still be saved.

    I can have faith in Christ and be the worst person on the planet but when I am about to die say I accept Christ and all of the sudden I am saved.

    Much more to it than that. Through Christ all men are saved, totally true. But there is more to it than just that.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  4. max

    You can count on my vote Mr. Romney. I'm voting for President Obama.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • marctheduck

      "Change you can..." How's that working for the 99% so far?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Bah Rain

      Actually, it's great how that's working for the 99 percent. Without Obama and most of the other Dems, we'd all be living in the street, rioting for food, busting down doors and dragging the one percenters into the street for a little "lernin".

      If we had a POS GOP president, Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, and Education would be completely gone by now and we'd all be running around with nothing left to lose. Right wingers aren't the only ones with guns, you know.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • David

      wow, Bah Ran's got issues. I think there's medication for that.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • RickInNY

      Marc – I guess you just can't fix stupid lol. Unreal that anyone in this country would want another 4 years of this. He's basically failed to successfully fulfill one single campaign promise, except for the healthcare law, which has bankrupted the country.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  5. God's Oldest Dreamer

    But is she married or,,,,,? Are women mormons allowed more than one husband? Motherly matriarchs may make for a better stylized way of living one's Life than just plain old one to a customer marriages! I was married twice! Neither produced a child! Now single, and past the half century a while back, I'm no longer looking for another! 2 strikes is enough in this Life for me! Gotta love Love for her opening within the limelight of celebritism!

    May 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  6. carlyt1

    Wow, I wonder what it takes to get this far off the track. GOP is anti women, anti-minorities and anti-Mormon. I think she just want some sort of prize.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • carlyt1

      that should have been "won some sort of prize"

      May 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bah Rain

      She's just a well-paid "token" black for the GOP, just like Michael Steele was.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • marctheduck

      May I suggest that you simply throw this black woman under the bus and continue on down the liberal highway for women's and minority rights (with all the respect they are obviously due)?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • David

      You're going to have to break out of your old stereotypes.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  7. John

    How can this be, I thought the GOP is racist? Go Mia Love, I am cheering for you. PS, keep my taxes low, and the federal government small.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • max

      Ridiculous.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  8. Toto

    She's hotter than Condi too.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  9. Vishu

    Let her convert to a different religion and then see how many elections she wins in Utah.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Bah Rain

      Exactly.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • me

      Strangely (or not) religion does not come into play much in if at all in elections inside Utah. We just don't care. We look at the issues and the stances of the candidate. Mormons make up a large part of the voting block, but many of the states most popular and influential are not/have not been Mormon. I can't tell you who, because like I said, most Utahns simply don't care if and where they go to church if they agree with the politics.

      Tired of hearing Mormon this, Muslim that, Evangelical this. Separation of church and state as outlined by the founding fathers means that all have the freedom to worship according to their beliefs. This clause was added to protect religious freedom, not to protect the government. In context of the time an unnamed "state" religion was politically persecuting other faiths in Europe and causing those of various minority faiths to flee to America. Saying that you would "never vote for a (fill in the blank of a religion other than your own)" is pretty unamerican.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      me,,,,,,,,,,,, ,wrote. "Tired of hearing Mormon this, Muslim that, Evangelical this. Separation of church and state as outlined by the founding fathers means that all have the freedom to worship according to their beliefs."

      Doesn't everyone bring their religion's baggage with them when coming into office(s)? Does not the possibilities of religious concepts weigh upon one's political agendas under the guises of new bills and edifyng judgements candored with politically religious suppositionings? One's "drawing a line in the sands" seems less aptly to happen outrightly but instead under guises of partisonships behind doors' uneyeing scrpted undulatons! I might be but a "filthy dirtbag" but even I have yet a few civil and moral rights left dangling between my sofits of bridled gratuities!

      May 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  10. longshot

    pretty sad when being a minority in the GOP is front page news

    May 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • David

      Nice try. Your comment was, indeed, a long shot.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  11. Merry Prankster

    Mia, I have an idea, why don't you sit down and shut up like the rest of the good Mormon wives, you have no say in this church!

    May 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • marctheduck

      ^^^ A liberal's version of Freedom of Speech ^^^

      May 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  12. Joe Buick

    don't judge a person by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character....hmm who said that??

    May 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Joe Buick

      content of their heart.....

      May 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  13. Aaron

    Really? She should go ask Michael Steele what the Repubs do to their blacks. That is how I heard them referred to by a republican having a conversation near me. Black, Hispanic, and Gay Repubs make me puke a little each time I see one.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • marctheduck

      ^^^ A librerals version of support for diversity ^^^

      May 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • David

      Now that's not very smart, Aaron, choosing one anecdotal comment and drawing broad conclusions from it.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Bah Rain

      That's not an overbroad conclusion, that's the truth. The GOP is racist and fascist. A few token blacks are just a joke for them.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  14. Nunya

    Poor dumb a#!S mormon, Republican, imbecile.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  15. steven harnack

    She is so rare that of course the first thing that Republicans would want to do is put her on the campaign trail. That has to be one very confused woman.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Learn to Fish

      ... and the first thing Democrats will do is try to tear her down, just want the interview. This is could really cut into the race-hustlers' profits.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Learn to Fish

      want = watch

      May 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  16. sfcanative

    Not quite sure how she reconciles this charming quote from Mormon 'Prophet' Brigham Young but, being married to a Caucasian certainly makes early Mormon revelation and prophesy seem like the very thing it is; a load of crap.

    "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

    May 1, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Religion

      You know what the difference is between a Mormon and a moron? One letter.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Kurt

      The Journal of Discourses was never considered doctrine. Brigham Young was not perfect. We Mormons do not care if a black person marries a white person.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Michael

      Mormons don't believe that prophets are infallible, or that every word they speak is the word of God. The fact is that the LDS Church condemns racism in any and all forms, past and present, including the racist comments of former church leaders.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • dymas

      maybe she married a black man?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • sfcanative

      Kurt & Michael, that excuse is as old as the hills. Give it up. Brigham Young spoke VOLUMES on the subject (and other equally ridiculous notions), as have many other Mormon leaders. The simple fact exists, Brigham Young wasn't an inspired 'prophet' by any stretch of the imagination. The LDS church is led by one thing today; cash flow. Joseph Smith might have had a bit of inspiration somewhere along the way but the rest of the crackpots running LDS, Inc. are little more than capitalists with an eye on running the world under the direct command of their namesake.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  17. souptwins

    Why is this on the "beliefs" page? She talks about political issues and her religion is a CNN-invented side note. Is it because she breaks stereotypes they don't want people to see? Even the interviewer couldn't maintain professional composure about her personal prejudices. Yes, women– even black ones- can be GOP and they run for office. Her religion should not be the dictating factor in this story and maybe if more people on the Political page saw her interview they could crawl out from under the stereotypical rock they live under. Come on CNN grow a pair and put it out there.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • steven harnack

      Hey, she's the one with the "I am a Mormon" web site, CNN didn't put her there.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Jeanine

      We have the most vocal trolls here in the Belief Blog. Who could ask for anything more when you want page-hits?
      And, yes, I am one of them.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  18. max

    This is what's called a Romney gaffe. I love it.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • David

      You're trying your best to hope reality isn't real. Best of luck, max.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  19. lividgoosedots

    Black republicans need to run (not walk) back to the plantation.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  20. lauradet

    Poor girl, she has three strikes against her that will meet her demise - black, Mormon, and GOP.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
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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.