- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - When it comes to raising campaign cash, Republican Mia Love continues outpace her opponents in her bid to win the seat held by outgoing Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson.

From Jan. 1 through April 6 of this year, Love raised $450,000, according to the most recent campaign finance reports released Monday.

If she wins this November, she’d become the first black female Republican elected to Congress.

While Love has maintained substantial fundraising hauls for months, Monday’s report marks the second quarter in a row where Love brought in less money and spent even more.

In the last few months of 2013, Love brought in $516,000, down from the $590,000 she raised in the previous quarter.

Her three-month campaign spending on staff, mailers and other campaign expenses increased $472,000 at the end of last year to about $551,000 in recent months.

The former mayor of Saratoga Springs still has $631,000 on hand to spend heading into the state GOP nominating convention later this month, where Republican delegates will choose their candidate.

Bob Fuehr, a former telecommunications executive from Salt Lake City and other Republican in the race for the 4th Congressional District, raised only $500 during that same period and loaned his campaign $91,000.

He repaid himself about $88,000 of that loan and spent another $65,000 on his campaign, which left him with about $56,000 to spend ahead of the April 26 convention.

Despite narrowly losing to Matheson in 2012, Love earned name recognition and experience that Utah political observers have said will likely carry her far this year.

She has raised more than $2 million in total for the race since early 2013.

Fuehr has acknowledged Love’s comfortable position in the race and recently paid for two billboards around the Salt Lake Valley that say “What About Bob?”

On the Democratic side, attorney Doug Owens raised about $133,000 in the first quarter of the year and spent only $15,000.

Owens, the son of late U.S. Rep. Wayne Owens, finished the first quarter of the year with about $118,000 on hand.

Fundraising reports are not yet available for the other candidates who have jumped into the race.

Beyond Love, Owens and Fuehr, other candidates in the race include Democrat Bill Peterson and Libertarian Jim Vein, who ran for the seat in 2012.

Collin Robert Simonsen, a Constitution Party candidate, and Tim Aalders, an Independent American candidate, are also running.

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

In 2012, Matheson won the seat after defeating Love by about 800 votes.

Until Matheson announced in late 2013 he was not running again, their expected rematch would have been one of the state’s most competitive races this year.

Not all fundraising reports were available Tuesday in Utah’s three other congressional districts, which are all held by Republicans seeking re-election this year.

In the 1st Congressional District, reports from Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, Democrats Peter Clemens and Donna McAleer and Republican David Yu-Lin Chiu were not posted on the Federal Election Commission’s website Tuesday.

In the 2nd Congressional District, a report from Republican Rep. Chris Stewart showed he raised $144,000 this year and finished the quarter with about $205,000 in his campaign account.

Republican challenger Zachary Hartman raised $17,000 and spent about $10,000 of that. An updated report from Democrat Luz Robles, a state senator, was not posted by the FEC Tuesday. Robles did not return immediately return messages seeking details.

Her most recent public report from the last three months in 2013 showed she had about $39,000.

In the 3rd Congressional District, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz brought in $111,000 and had $185,000 on hand.

Campaign finance reports were not available for the seven candidates have filed to challenge Chaffetz, including Democrat Brian Wonnacott and Republicans Mark Hedengren and Robert Stevens.

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