Mia Love: Mormon Politician
Ludmya Bourdeau “Mia” Love is an American politician and in 2015 became a United States Representative for the fourth congressional district in Utah. Prior to her election, she was mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, from 2010 to 2014. In 2012, she narrowly lost her bid for the seat, losing to incumbent Democratic Representative Jim Matheson. In 2018, she was defeated by Ben McAdams in a close race that ended after she called for a recount after all late-arriving by-mail ballots were counted. She conceded on November 24, 2018. In the final months of her term, she was outspoken about her Republican party reaching out to and connecting with women and racial minorities. She was at that time the only black Republican woman in Congress.
Love was born on December 6, 1975, in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents came to the United States in 1973 on a tourist visa, leaving their two older children behind in Haiti. They became naturalized citizens later. The family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut, when Love was five years old. She earned a bachelor’s degree in the performing arts from the University of Hartford. She pursued several different interests, including working as a flight attendant for Continental Airlines. She ventured into community service when a neighborhood infestation of flies led her to working with city officials and developers to take care of the problem. Her skill in getting things done eventually led her to being elected a member of the city council in 2003.
She is the first Haitian American and the first black female Republican in Congress, as well as the first black person to be elected to Congress from Utah. She gained national attention when she spoke at the 2012 Republican National Convention. She was the opening speaker at the 2013 Western Conservative Summit.
She married Jason Love in 1998 and they are the parents of three children. They met in Connecticut where he was serving a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He knew the missionary who had taught her the gospel and baptized her. She moved to Utah later, and that missionary asked Jason to help her move in.
The Love family continues to live in Saratoga Springs and Jason continues in his executive position with a software company in Lehi, Utah, while she works in Washington and comes home on the weekends. At the beginning of her term, she was appointed to the House Financial Services Committee. She joined the Congressional Black Caucus in January 2015.