Among the prime-time speakers at the National Republican Convention in Tampa this week:
Mia Love, the 37-year-old female mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah.
Love, who is Mormon and of Haitian heritage, was among the U.S. House recruits identified by leaders of the National Republican Congressional Committee who might help Republicans tighten their grip of control by holding their current seats and ousting additional Democratic incumbents, they say.
Love is “a candidate who breaks a lot of molds,” says Guy Harrison, NRCC executive director.
She is scheduled to speak just after 7:00 pm EDT today, the effective opening day of the day-delayed convention.
In the aftermath of comments by Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin about women, abortion and “legitimate rape” that caused a furor within the party, the Republican National Committee is trying to highlight its roster of female speakers, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who also is African American, as well as Nikki Haley, the Indian-American governor of South Carolina.
Love is challenging six-term incumbent Democrat Jim Matheson. While polls show Love behind, the NRCC has designated her as one of their “young gun” candidates and has already reserved more than $1 million in television advertising time in the district, according to NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay.