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Utah Democrat Jim Matheson to Retire

Love's seat to lose?

2:39 PM, Dec 17, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Jim Matheson, the lone Democratic congressman from Utah, will not run for reelection in 2014. Matheson announced the decision on his Facebook page:

When I launched my first campaign in 1999, I knew that the arc of my public service would have many chapters. It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of Utah during my time in the United States House of Representatives, but my time in the House should not be the sum total of my service. Today, I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the House of Representatives.

Matheson's 2012 Republican opponent was Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs. Love is running for the seat again, and the seat leans heavily toward the GOP.

Love was seen as a rising star in her race last year, despite losing to the veteran Matheson. She even delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa:

“My parents immigrated to this country with $10 in their pocket and a hope that the America they heard about really did exist,” Love said. “When tough times came, they didn’t look to Washington; they looked within.”

The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Love is a Mormon convert and the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. And if she wins the election over six-term Democrat Jim Matheson, she will also be the first black female Republican in Congress. In an election year where Democrats and their allies in the media have tried to portray the Republican party as bigoted toward women and minorities, the decision to give Love precious time in Tampa was a no-brainer for the GOP.

In her remarks, which focused on celebrating the “American story,” Love gave a nod to the chapter on civil rights. “Our story has been told for over 200 years, with small steps and giant leaps, from a woman on a bus to a man with a dream, from the bravery of the greatest generation to the innovators and entrepreneurs of today, this is our story. This is our America,” said Love, who is normally cautious—almost averse—to incorporating her own race into her political profile.

“The main reason for bringing up Rosa Parks and bringing up Martin Luther King is because I wanted to paint a vision of where we’ve been and where we’ve gone, how much we’ve moved forward,” Love says.

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