Daniel Doherty

US congressional candidate Mia Love (R-Utah) came within a hair’s length -- that is, less than a percentage point -- of unseating a longtime Democratic incumbent during the 2012 election cycle, losing by less than 1,000 votes. But now that her former opponent Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) is retiring, the party sees the open seat as an opportunity to finally accomplish two things: turn Utah's 4th Congressional District red, and send a rising GOP star to Washington.

Indeed, this past weekend Love picked up nearly 80 percent of the vote at her party’s state convention, thus clinching the Republican nomination; she will now take on Democrat Doug Owens in the general election (via The Hill)

Rising GOP star Mia Love handily secured the Republican nominee Saturday to replace retiring Rep. Jim Matheson's (D-Utah).

The former Saratoga Springs, Utah, mayor raked in more than 78 percent of the vote at the party’s nominating convention, while businessman Bob Fuehr received just about 22 percent, according to multiple reports. The victory makes her one step closer to becoming the first black female Republican ever elected to Congress.

Now, she will face off against Democrat Doug Owens, a Salt Lake City attorney who garnered 98 percent of his party’s support at his own party’s convention.

The good news for Love is that Mitt Romney won this district by some 37 percentage points. And since Democrats will not be running an entrenched incumbent again, the seat is certainly winnable, if not an easy Republican pickup. Meanwhile, as noted above, Love will be the first African-American female to represent the GOP in Congress if she wins the general election. And of course, this seems rather likely considering the race has already been deemed "Safe for Republicans."

I’ll leave you with Love’s 2012 RNC convention speech, which first put her on the map, so to speak. Autobiographical, concise, and inspiring, take some time to watch it if you haven’t done so already; it’s only four minutes long:


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography