PUBLISHED: 02:54 EST, 27 June 2012 | UPDATED: 03:06 EST, 27 June 2012
- Mormon and small-time mayor could make history as the first black Republican woman in Congress
A mother-of-three and fitness instructor could be on track to become the first black female member of Congress.
Mia Love, who is also a Mormon and mayor of a small town in Utah, has stunned political analysts by winning her primary election.
If she wins her congressional election, the 36-year-old will make political history as the first black Republican woman to serve in Congress.
‘Unprecedented’: Political analysts have described Mia Love’s achievements as ‘astonishing’
Love’s victory in the primaries has stunned many in Utah, not least because it is a state in which only three women have been elected into Congress and has an African American population of less than 1 per cent, latest census figures show.
She is taking on six-term congressman Jim Matheson, who currently holds the distinction of being a Democrat representing one of the most Republican districts in the country.
Their political battle has become one of the most closely-watched congressional contests in the U.S.
According to The Root, Tim Chambless, an associate professor of political science at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, described Love’s feat as ‘astonishing’ and ‘unprecedented’.
One High School teacher who met Love said that she was impressed with her stance on ‘dismantling entitlements’, the Daily Herald reported.
Roots: Love was born in Brooklyn and raised in Connecticut before settling in the state of Utah (pictured) 14 years ago
Elaine Grant said she was switching political allegiance from Matheson to Love after meeting the candidate.
She told the Daily Herald: ‘There’s this perception that there aren’t any African Americans in Utah and a mis-perception that there are no African American Mormons.
‘She dispels some of that. That’s a good thing.’
Love was born in Brooklyn and raised in Connecticut before settling in Utah 14 years ago.
She met her future husband, Jason Love, in college while he was on a Mormon mission in Connecticut.
When she moved to the state she left the Catholic Church and joined the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.