Mia Love is used to being an anomaly -- it's the size of the audience that's unusual.
The Republican Party is set to showcase one of its rising young stars with a Tuesday speech by Love, a black Mormon woman whose candidacy has begun drawing national notice. She is taking on incumbent Democrat Jim Matheson for a chance to be the first black Republican woman elected to the House of Representatives.
"I have never had a problem with people calling me a shiny new toy, but hopefully it's what I stand for that matters," Love told Reuters. "I was elected as mayor [of Saratoga Springs, Utah] with 60 percent of the vote, and it wasn't because I'm black and I'm female."
Love has taken positions than align her with the more conservative, tea party-inflected wing of the Republican party, including her calls to eliminate the federal Department of Energy and Department of Education. She has said Utah should have more authority over federally-controlled lands, a stance that Romney has started pushing on the campaign trail.
Her emphasis on limited government has earned her the endorsement of the prominent Tea Party organization FreedomWorks, and her candidacy has also drawn support from the Republican establishment. The National Republican Congressional Committee has committed to bankrolling some campaign advertisements, and party luminaries like Senator John McCain of Arizona and House Speaker John Boehner have campaigned on her behalf.
The latest plaudit comes on Tuesday night, when Love is set to address delegates gathered at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Her speech will touch on her personal background, casting her family story as one of classic immigrant striving (her parents emigrated from Haiti in the 1970s).
"When tough times came, they didn't look to Washington," Love will say, according to a preview in the Salt Lake City-based Deseret News. "They looked within."
The speech will underscore Love's remarkably swift ascent, from her 2004 election to the city council of Saratoga Springs -- the same city that made her mayor in 2010 -- to her current status as a leading beneficiary of Republican leaders looking to maintain and expand their House majority.
If elected, Love has promised to focus on slimming the national deficit, a priority for the party. She has rejected raising taxes to generate more revenue, saying the solution lies in slashing spending.
"I do not believe we have a revenue problem," Love said in an interview with Yahoo News. "I believe we have a spending problem."
She also said she plans to join the Congressional Black Caucus if elected and relayed a message to Rep. Allen West of Florida, currently its only Republican member,
"I told him to just hang in there," Love told Yahoo. "Reinforcements are coming."