Utah Republican Mia Love Files Papers for Matheson Rematch

Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Mia Love, mayor of Saratoga Springs, speaks at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa.

Mia Love, a Republican Utah mayor who almost unseated Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson last November, has filed paperwork that paves the way for her to seek a rematch in 2014.

Love filed a statement of candidacy and a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission yesterday to run again in Utah’s 4th District, which takes in part of Salt Lake City and territory to the south, including Love’s hometown of Saratoga Springs.

She lost to Matheson last year by 768 votes and 0.3 percentage points, the second-closest outcome among the 435 House races. Love just missed becoming the first black Republican woman to serve in Congress.

Matheson, who won a seventh term, demonstrated crossover appeal in hanging on to a district that backed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama by 67 percent to 30 percent, according to data compiled by Political Capital.

Love spoke at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, last year, and at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week near Washington.  At the CPAC gathering, Love told the Salt Lake Tribune’s Tommy Burr and CQ Roll Call’s Kyle Trygstad that she had hired former Utah Republican chairman Dave Hansen and was “seriously looking” at a 2014 rematch with Matheson. She appeared earlier this month on ABC’s “This Week” program.

Love hasn’t formally announced her political plans. Hansen didn’t return a phone message yesterday.

House Republican strategists have encouraged candidates weighing rematches to analyze why they fell short in 2012 before making decisions on running again in 2014.

“There are a lot of things to do differently and there are a lot of things we did that worked,” Love told Burr. “I get to start from a completely different place.”

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