REUTERS/STRINGER El SALVADOR
The newest woman on the American political scene is Utah Republican Mayor Mia Love.
Love, the Saratoga Springs mayor, made recent headlines when she beat out two well-known former state lawmakers for the Republican nomination in the 4th Congressional District.
It was quite striking, University of Utah political science professor Matthew Burbank said of Love's convention win. It was certainly a surprise to me.
Love, an African American Mormon, is also a marathon-running mother of three and the daughter of Haitian immigrants who came to the United States with $10 in their pockets, she says.
While her mother worked as a nurse at a retirement home, her father worked for a painting company, as well as scrubbed floors at Catholic school and drove a school bus to support their growing family.
I am a product of that hard work, she said in an interview with Yahoo News, a product of the American dream.
Love first became involved in politics when she ran for city council in 200 and won. After six years on the city council, she ran for mayor.
During her time in office, Saratoga Springs has seen considerable growth. In 1997, when the city became incorporated, it was as an agricultural oasis, with just two state roads and scarce infrastructure, according to The Salt Lake Tribune with a population of 1,000.
By 2008, the population was 18,000. Love was part of the city council that approved a transformation from the agriculture tax to municipal tax.
She also worked with other city council members to cut expenses, reducing the city's shortfall during the economic downturn from $3.5 million to $779,000. Saratoga Springs now has the highest possible bond rating for a city of its size -- AA+
Now as her popularity is the highest it has ever been, Love is embracing the attention that she has worked so hard to get.
We have an opportunity to reach some of our fellow Americans that we haven't been able to reach, ever, on the conservative side, she told Yahoo News. And if I can reach our fellow Americans and get them to believe what we believe--that the way that they're going to realize the American dream is through hard work and that they can do it, then I'm happy to play that role. I'm happy to be the example.
During the recent Republican primary, love received 70 percent of the vote, beating out attorney Jay Cobb and State Reps. Stephen Sandstrom of Orem and Carl Wimmer of Herriman.
She is now gearing up to face incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, who chose to seek re-election in the 4th district due to the fact that his current 2nd Congressional District (which he has represented since 2001) has been substantially altered following the redistricting process.
Utah Republican Strategist Doug Foxley told The Daily Caller, If I were Jim Matheson I would be scared to death if Mia were the Republican nominee.
In light of Mia Love making recent political headlines, here are 10 other powerful women in politics.