- Associated Press - Monday, March 17, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Republican Mia Love on Monday officially filed to run for Congress in Utah’s 4th Congressional District with hopes of replacing longtime Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson.

Love, the former mayor of Saratoga Springs, filed her campaign declaration Monday afternoon at the lieutenant governor’s office, which oversees elections.

Love narrowly lost to Matheson in 2012 and announced last spring she wanted to try again.

Their expected rematch this year would have been the state’s most competitive race, but in December, Matheson announced he was not seeking an eighth term.

His announcement left Love well-situated, with campaign cash and name recognition.

The 4th District, which leans Republican, covers a string of Salt Lake City suburbs stretching south along the Wasatch Front to Sanpete County.

Matheson, a member of the fiscally conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats in Congress, is also the son of a popular former governor.

One Democrat hoping to take Matheson’s place is also entering the race with a name familiar in Utah politics.

Doug Owens, a son of the late U.S. Rep. Wayne Owens, also filed his campaign declaration for Utah’s 4th District on Monday afternoon.

Wayne Owens was a Utah congressman from 1973 to 1975 and again from 1987 to 1993.

Besides Love and Owens, three other candidates are jumping into the race.

Love will face an expected challenge from Republican Bob Fuehr, a former telecommunications executive. Fuehr released a statement Monday saying he will file Tuesday morning.

Another Democrat, Bill Peterson, has already filed to run, as has Libertarian candidate Jim Vein, who ran for the seat in 2012.