Congresswoman Mia Love represents Utahs 4th Congressional District and is the first black Republican woman and the first Haitian-American elected to the United States Congress. She is also the first black person elected to Congress in Utah.
Love was born Ludmya Bourdeau on December 6, 1975 in Brooklyn, New York to Jean-Maxine and Mary Bourdeau. The Bourdeau family emigrated from Haiti to the United States in 1973. Due to visa restrictions two children, Jean and Cynthia, were left behind. Love was born before the expiration of an immigration law that offered green cards to immigrants with children born in the United States; Love’s parents later became naturalized citizens.
Love was raised a Roman Catholic; her father worked for Nabisco, and her mother worked as a nurse. The Bourdeau family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut in 1980, reuniting the family with the older children from Haiti. Love graduated from Norwalk High School before completing a degree in fine arts in 1998 at the University of Hartford, which she attended on a partial scholarship. Upon graduation, she worked as a flight attendant for Continental Airlines and became a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. She relocated to Utah and after four months of dating she married Jason Love, a missionary for the LDS Church.
Love’s political career began as a community spokesperson in Saratoga Springs, Utah. In 2004 she was elected to the Saratoga Springs City Council, serving six years in the office before being elected mayor. She served as mayor from 2010 to 2014, guiding the city through an economic downturn and natural disasters such as wildfires and mudslides.
Love ran for Congress in 2012, but was defeated by Democrat Jim Matheson. During that first attempt at a congressional seat, Love gained valuable national exposure when she was selected to be a keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. She served as the opening speaker for the Western Conservative Summit in 2013 and appointed to the Republican