- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - U.S. Rep. Mia Love, the newest member of Utah’s all-Republican congressional delegation, has raised more than double the amount of money collected by Democratic challenger Doug Owens in recent months, according to the latest campaign fundraising reports.

From early April through June, Love raised about $821,000, her biggest fundraising haul in the past year as she faces her first re-election test this November.

Owens, who unsuccessfully challenged Love in 2014, raised $376,000 during the same three-month period, according to his campaign finance reports.

Reports for Love and Owens, both filed late last week, show that each candidate received most of their funds from individual donors rather than political action committees.

Love, the former mayor of Saratoga Springs, heads into the coming months with $1.49 million in her campaign account. Dave Hansen, Love’s campaign manager, said they had a very good fundraising quarter “and feel very good about where we are and need to be.”

Love was elected in 2014, capturing 51 percent of the vote in Utah’s 4th Congressional District over Owens, who won 46 percent.

As he prepares to go head-to-head with Love again, Owens, a Salt Lake City attorney and son of former U.S. Rep. Wayne Owens, has about $890,000 to spend.

Taylor Morgan, a strategist for Doug Owens’ campaign, said it was a close election in 2014, and his candidate’s fundraising will be stronger this year. “Last time Doug was outspent six to one. This time, he won’t be outspent by that margin, and Doug will have the resources he needs to win,” Morgan said.

Owens could get help in October from a national Democratic super PAC focused on trying to get more Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The race for Utah’s 4th District is one of a number of races the House Majority PAC has targeted this year, and the PAC has reserved $383,000 worth of television airtime in Salt Lake City for political ads running in late October.

Hansen said the PAC can always pull back come October because they didn’t actually purchase the airtime. “It’s a PR move, that’s all,” he said.

When asked to comment on the PAC’s TV reservation, Morgan said Owens was focused on his race, not “on national politics.”

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