Election 2012: Mia Love on track to becoming 1st black Republican woman elected to Congress
A married mother of three, a Mormon and a tea party favorite, Love is the only woman among 11 black Republican House candidates in the November 6 election. She and Vernon Parker, who is running in Arizona, are seen as the most likely winners among nine black GOP challengers.
Republicans, like Love herself, have focused more on her conservative values and agenda than her race.
“We need a party that is diverse based on our issues and not based on simply trying to find greater variety in the complexion,” said Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina, one of the two black Republicans now in the House.
While Love doesn’t emphasize her race and gender, they are powerful factors in her bid to become a Republican member of Congress. Scott and Allen West of Florida were elected in 2010 as the first black Republicans in Congress since former Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma left in 2003.
Black Republicans long have been scarce in Congress. Of 26 black Republican House members since 1870, the vast majority served during the post-Civil War Reconstruction days. Scott and West, both tea party favorites, were swept into office as part of the GOP wave in 2010. West faces a tough re-election fight.
Love is getting support in her bid to focus on policies.
It would be a disservice to Love for Republicans to tout her candidacy in racial terms, said Artur Davis, a black former Democratic congressman from Alabama who switched parties and also addressed the GOP convention.