Utah’s Mia Love made history Tuesday by becoming the first black Republican woman to win a seat in Congress, eking out a close victory over Democrat Doug Owens.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Ms. Love took 50 percent of the vote to Mr. Owens’s 47 percent. She lost her campaign to represent Utah’s 4th congressional district in 2012 by just 768 votes to Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, who opted not to run for re-election this year.
“To the voters of the 4th district, thank you for running with me!” said Ms. Love in a statement. “Thank you for the trust you have placed in me. I will work every day to be deserving of it. Regardless of who you voted for today, I hope you know that I am going to Washington to represent everyone in the district and invite you to engage with me in finding real solutions to the challenges we face as a country.”
Mr. Owens, the son of the late Democratic Rep. Wayne Owens, said in a Twitter post late Tuesday that he had called Ms. Love to congratulate her on her victory.
Ms. Love, 38, also becomes the first Haitian-American to win congressional office. The daughter of Haitian immigrants, she belongs to Utah’s dominant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served previously as mayor of Saratoga Springs.
Her victory will undoubtedly boost her star status among Republicans. She’s already a sought-after speaker who regularly appears at high-profile conservative conferences such as the annual Western Conservative Summit in Denver and CPAC in Washington, D.C.
She rose to prominence among many Republicans with her speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
“Many people have reminded me that tonight is not the end of the race; it is just the end of the beginning,” Ms. Love said. “As your representative, I am not going to ask you to trust Washington — I am going to convince Washington to trust you.”
The 4th congressional district is the most evenly divided of Utah’s four House seats with 47 percent registered Republicans, 16 percent Democrats and 31 percent independents.