- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Final campaign fundraising reports for 2014 show newly elected Republican Mia Love brought in $5.2 million - more than double the amount she raised in 2012.

Love, former mayor of Saratoga Springs, made history with her victory last month in the 4th Congressional District, becoming the first black female Republican elected to Congress.

In 2012, she had lost to Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson by about 800 votes. Despite the loss, she emerged with national name recognition.

Brigham Young University political science professor David Magleby said that effort enabled Love to raise even more money this year in a race that wasn’t as close.

Love won in November by about 7,500 votes, collecting about 51 percent of the vote over Democratic challenger and first-time candidate Doug Owens, who had about 46 percent of the vote.

Love’s $5.2 million haul helped power her through the final months of the campaign with more than half a dozen different television ads.

Owens, a Salt Lake City attorney and son of former U.S. Rep. Wayne Owens, raised about $865,000 after jumping into the race in January.

Matheson raised $940,000 in 2013, gearing up for a possible re-election bid that he ultimately abandoned.

Owens did well this year for a political newcomer and demonstrated he, too, is a viable candidate, Magleby said. Owens has said he’s considering challenging Love again in 2016.

Three incumbent Republicans in other Utah congressional races all raised more this year despite facing longshot challengers in a strong GOP election year.

Tim Chambless, a professor of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, said that’s not surprising considering the year-round nature of political campaigns.

“Money’s the mother’s milk of politics,” Chambless said. “We’re seeing more and more money being spent for even uncontested races.”

Republican Rep. Rob Bishop raised about $544,000 for his re-election bid in Utah’s 1st District, a 50 percent jump from his 2012 total. His Democratic challenger Donna McAleer raised $266,000.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican who won a fourth term, raised almost $1 million in the 3rd Congressional District. Opponent Brian Wonnacott, a Democrat, raised only about $9,200.

In Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, GOP Rep. Chris Stewart raised about $755,000 for his first re-election campaign. His opponent, Democratic state Sen. Luz Robles, raised about $153,000.

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