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Mia Love paid off student loans, made thousands giving speeches

Published August 8, 2014 12:25 pm

Campaign • Personal financial statements show 4th District hopefuls' assets and debts.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Mia Love is free of her student loan, and she's hoping that will remove a barb political opponents may throw her way.

The 4th Congressional District candidate has also made $27,000 on the speaking circuit since 2012, when she narrowly lost her first campaign for federal office.

These are some of the details from the personal financial reports required of all candidates for the House or Senate.

Love's 2013 report shows she owed between $15,000 and $50,000 on her student loan, accrued when she earned her musical theater degree from the University of Hartford.

No such debt appears on her latest filing.

The Republican candidate said part of her reasoning for paying off that federally subsidized loan was to eliminate a political issue.

"I just didn't want it to be one of those things, you know," she said. "Now, it's the art of the takeaway."

In her 2012 race against Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, Love called for the elimination of federally subsidized student loans. She argues the availability of that money has made it easier for colleges to raise the cost of tuition.

Matheson criticized her position, saying it would hurt Utah students. Her 2014 Democratic opponent, Doug Owens, has kept up the criticism. Democrats have accused her of hypocrisy since she took student loans, which she still was repaying.

That loan was the only debt she was carrying. It appears she paid it off by selling Facebook stock valued between $5,000 and $15,000.

Love said her family's finances are handled by her husband, Jason Love, an executive at a Utah County-based software company, who makes a little more than $128,000 annually.

Mia Love, the former mayor of Saratoga Springs, earned $10,500 for that part-time elected position. She didn't run for re-election in 2013. In the past two years, she's earned honoraria for three speeches: $500 from the University of Chicago, $1,500 from Leadership of the Rockies and $25,000 from the Jo Ann Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute, which seeks to increase the number of Republican women elected to office.

For his part, Owens, who has taken a leave of absence from the law firm Holland & Hart, where he is a corporate defense attorney, would make about $197,000 in a regular year, meaning that if he won in November, he'd take a pay cut to be a member of Congress. House members are paid $174,000 annually.

Owens' report shows no debts, and a net worth between $700,000 and $1.7 million, with most of the money in mutual funds. The disclosure reports require candidates to list their investments within a range. Love's net worth is between $101,000 and $266,000, the biggest chunk being in a 401(k) retirement account.

mcanham@sltrib.com