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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. max

    I don't care in the least about Mitt Romney's religion or his spiritual beliefs. I do however care about this man's poltical, social and economic agenda. And they are in my view, awful..

    May 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Gorn, Meta-being

      wat

      May 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  2. lol

    just because the only mormons you have ever seen are white does not mean that all of their members are. if you actually look outside of your small area of the world you'd realize that all races have people among them that are mormon. i once even met a few that were originally from Pakistan (pardon the spelling), very nice people. 🙂

    May 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  3. JUGGERNAUT

    LMAO

    ANOTHER DUMB TOKEN BEING USED BY THE RACIST GOP.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Larry David Sandwich

      Where are you at on this one, wontonsoy?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Larry David Sandwich

      wontonsoy supports your post while decrying broad generalizations.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • helloeyes

      Agreed. They want the black vote and they will use her to get it, but they will treat her like a second-class citizen because of her race.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Larry David Sandwich

      Last chance to prove you aren't a hypocrite, wontonsoy.....last chance!

      May 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • wontonsoy

      Uh-oh. Or what?

      You're pathetic.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  4. Patriot Awesome

    I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but we might have another Sarah Palin on our hands. Yikes!

    May 1, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  5. jj

    How about if we start ignoring physical characteristics and become a colorblind genderblind religionblind society. Then we can select candidates and leaders on the basis of their qualification and "the content of their character."

    May 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Gorn, Meta-being

      Because that would be a meritocracy and not a democracy, stupid. The ruling elite do not want a meritocracy, they want dumb bunnies they can scare into voting how they direct.
      Dumas

      May 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    The big question is can she pass the GOP Evangelical /Tea Party purity tests?

    May 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  7. mickey1313

    Funny, the mormons are openly racist and anti- female, she must never have read the book of mormon. Dumb gop puppet

    May 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Michael

      Funny, you must not know many Mormons.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • cheapseats2

      In her own words, she felt accepted by by the people of Utah (mostly Mormons) and obviously she hasn't been coerced into running for office as a Republican. Find another crutch for your feeble mind to lean on.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  8. Milton B. Hibbler

    Thats great!

    This is the freedom we protect for one to serve in what ever waythatthey choose for which ever party or faith.
    My hats off to her !!

    This is the heart of what our democracy is about the best of luck to her in her inher district

    May 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  9. maestra730

    Oh, dear! Whatever will the liberals do now? Will they call her a traitor and tell her she should be ashamed, the way Harry Reid did to female Hispanic Republicans like me? According to the Dems, the GOP is made up of only rich, elitist white folks, right? Thank you, Mia Love, for shoving their faces in their own manure.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • wontonsoy

      Congratulations for having the ignorance to vote against your best interest. Seriously, kudos to you. You're so brave.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Larry David Sandwich

      They'll employ the "Uncle Tom" label. Straight out of the DNC handbook.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Look at there voting record, not the people, but the actual politicians. They vote exclusively for rich white ideals. I don't think you are a traitor, just ignorant. They are using this woman in the same way they tried to use palin, it will back fire just like it did with her.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • helloeyes

      I don't believe she is rubbing our faces in anything. She is simply a brainwashed half-wit oreo.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Gorn, Meta-being

      You ARE a traitor and you SHOULD be ashamed! You have no shame, I guess. GOP must love you stupid f**cks like crazy.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  10. NukeTim

    ...and delusional...

    May 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  11. Larry David Sandwich

    She will bring out the inherent racism in every American liberal.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • wontonsoy

      Way to speak out about making sweeping generalizations by making a sweeping generalization. Next time you have a thought, write it down, look at it, consider it, and then slap yourself.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • bram

      yr a godammed moron.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Larry David Sandwich

      "yr a godammed moron."

      Classy.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Larry David Sandwich

      wontonsoy – something tells me that if I had generalized Team Red, you would have given me a thumbs up.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • wontonsoy

      Keep on making your decisions and judgments based on guesses. That's a smart way to argue/live.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Larry David Sandwich

      wontonsoy – you going to reply to JUGGERNAUT above or let that one slide? Partisan fool.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • wontonsoy

      So if I don't go through all the comments and yell at every left-leaning troll I'm a partisan? Seriously, examine that. As a strategy for argument. I mean for allah's sake, "Team Red?" Do you really think of them as teams? And I'M the partisan?

      Go to your room, turn off your video games, and think about what you've done.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Larry David Sandwich

      Just going to let that one slide, eh? Nah, you're not a hypocrite partisan shill. Not at all.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • wontonsoy

      Stop pointing over my shoulder because you don't like the fight that's happening in front of you. Some moron being a troll elsewhere does not vindicate your pathetic ramblings. You called a group ignorant while exhibiting the very ignorance you were decrying. That makes YOU a hypocrite. That doesn't change because I don't go and poke every troll on the god damn site. You're a moron, your opinions are laughable, and you act like a child.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Gorn, Meta-being

      "inherent racism"? Do you mean to tell me you are reallly that incredibly disgustingly stupid?
      Oh, you're a Reptard. That explains everything.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Larry David Sandwich

      U mad bro? You mad! I couldn't be happier. You know the funny thing is that I abhor conservatives as much as I abhor liberals. It's just so much more gratifying to infuriate a self-righteous, liberal hypocrite like yourself. Suck it you sanctimonious shmuck.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  12. Carol

    How else can the media describe this new contender for Congress, other than what they have, Bill Dee? Being part of the human race you are either male or female, being of any race you are that, and being in a religion you are that. These are not labels, these statistics are who you are.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  13. Jez

    Of course she's not American born. No American born black person with half a brain respects the Mormon "Church". The only black mormons are almost 100% all foreign born, where the mormon missionaries could ply them with half-truths. Mormons did not allow black members in their "churches" until the 1970s, when the government was on their backs – at which time, some "church leader" had a bloody "revelation". American born blacks know what time it is at the Mormon "church". A bunch of bigots. Let this woman get her "15 minutes".

    May 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • dymas

      I know about thirty or forty american born black mormons... They all probably have a higher education (both in manners and academically) than you.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • wontonsoy

      This is silly. Most black Americans, though they're not Mormon, are religious. Glass houses, my friend. Your cult is no better than their cult.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Cody Fire

      Trouble is, most of them don't have half a brain.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Sheridan

      Jez, you're not only a total idiot who's beyond ignorant, but you're also a d-bag. Good luck in life.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Gorn, Meta-being

      Jez is right. They tell the starved idiots the bs hooks and never tell the whole truth.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  14. Marjorie

    .....and this is news because???????????

    May 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  15. JohnRJohnson

    Any black woman who becomes a Mormon is either grossly uninformed about the history of that "church" or she is just capitalizing on her religion.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Jez

      I concur 100%.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • dymas

      No you're the one grossly uninformed. They're probably 3000 times more informed than you because they study it on a daily basis instead of believing everything someone says one or twice here and there about Mormons.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
      • JohnRJohnson

        When my younger sister was baptized Mormon, I did a lot of research on the LDS. I also read "No Man Knows My History" about Joseph Smith. Then I studied the actually theology of the LDS, which most Mormons won't even talk about because it is, basically, pantheism. As far as the Church's view of blacks is concerned, it has been a racist organization throughout its history.

        May 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Reese

      i totally agree, any black person for that matter. Mormons used to believe that black people where cursed by God and thats how we got our darker skin (Cain and Abel). i know they moved from that belief but i wasnt biblical to begin with and still rings in my mind.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • helloeyes

      Agreed JRJ – she looks like a morman moron

      May 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  16. Are you kidding

    What is with all the mormons all of a sudden in the GOP. Is this a new thing or has it been happening for a long time? Anybody know?

    May 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • sancho

      There are many conservative and many progressive Mormons. Harry Reid (democrat) is a Mormon too. The republican Mormons have received more press recently for obvious reasons.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  17. Happy TImes

    In the comments I have seen comments like,:

    "Coming from a black man, in our community if you're black and a republican then you're an Uncle Tom"

    "Perhaps she's using the fact minorities rarely become republicans to jump ahead."

    "Simple: 'Token'"

    I thought it was the Republicans who are racist? This is kind of like the pot calling the kettle BLACK.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Jez

      That is because you do not know the very negative history the mormon church has with black people in this country. We know. This woman is "fronting". Pathetic.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • dymas

      Jez you're a blow hard. Lets say the catholics who started slavery then are the most racist of all. Or Lutherans who fed the nazi propaganda machine with all the propaganda they needed to exterminate the jews. Just because someone made a mistake in the past doesn't mean they are still making the mistake. To the contrary this is proof they've changed and some people are willing to let bygones be bygones

      May 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  18. Kazoo

    She is being used, & she doesnt even realize it

    May 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • sancho

      Not you though. You are clearly an independent, open minded thinker.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Are you kidding

      Yep, my thoughts exactly.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • insight

      LOL @ sancho! Good one!

      May 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • helloeyes

      I agree with Kazoo – this is sad.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Michael

      Right, because surely no black woman could actually be trusted to know her mind and stand by her convictions.

      (^^^ Sarcasm ^^^)

      May 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  19. Larry David Sandwich

    Black, Mormon and Conservative? Quick! Find a way to marginalize her!

    May 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  20. Bill Dee

    As long as news media outlets continue to label people as "black, female and mormon" (or similar in covering other news) racial profiling and stereo-typing will remain alive and well in America.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:34 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.