Mia Love Could Be One Step Closer to a Seat in Congress

The retirement of Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson creates an opening for the Black Republican.

Posted: 12/18/2013 08:30 AM EST

It was Dropout Tuesday on Capitol Hill yesterday and one of the three surprise retirement announcements came from Utah Rep. Jim Matheson. That's good news for Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, who has launched her second bid to become the U.S. House of Representatives' first Black, female, Mormon member.

Though a Democrat, Matheson represents an extremely red, or conservative, district, which could give Love the boost she needs to make it all the way to Capitol Hill. She lost to him in 2012 by just 768 votes.

Larry Sebato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, tweeted that Matheson's announcement moved the district he represents from Leans Democratic to Likely Republican.

The opening also could be a big test for the Republican National Committee's minority voter outreach effort.

Although there aren't likely many Black or other minority voters in Utah, it begs the question: Will the party support Love's bid and go all out for her, lure primary challengers or remain neutral in a battle against her?

Stay tuned.

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(Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

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