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Love getting boost from national GOP stars

Published August 1, 2012 10:12 pm

4th District • Speaker Boehner, Sen. McCain to help her campaign.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The big names of the Republican Party continue to roll through Utah to campaign for 4th Congressional District candidate Mia Love.

House Speaker John Boehner will be in town in two weeks to raise money for Love's campaign, and former presidential nominee and current U.S. Sen. John McCain will stump for Love the following day in her campaign to unseat Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson.

Boehner will attend a luncheon for Love's campaign at the Little America in downtown Salt Lake City on Aug. 15. Tickets for the event start at $500 with a VIP reception for $2,500 and a special roundtable meeting with the speaker for $10,000.

McCain will appear at a town hall meeting with Love in at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City on Aug. 16.

The Love campaign said other high-profile national Republican figures are also expected to come to Utah to back Love in the coming weeks.

"A visit from either of these national leaders to Utah is newsworthy in itself, but having them both in the same week is really an embarrassment of riches," Love said in a statement. "Speaker Boehner and Senator McCain understand the damage Barack Obama's policies are causing our great nation, and the necessity of replacing those representatives in Washington who have facilitated the president's agenda. They understand there is no reason a conservative state like Utah should have a representative like Jim Matheson who votes with Barack Obama 75% of the time."

Love had a fundraiser with House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., in Park City last month, although she couldn't attend because wildfires were threatening Saratoga Springs, where Love is the mayor.

She has also received the endorsements of Ann Romney and Josh Romney, the wife and son, respectively, of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Although the contest is considered by several national handicappers as one of the most competitive in the nation, Love may need the help to oust Matheson.

A poll released Tuesday by the House Majority PAC and Center Forward, a pair of Democratic groups, said that Matheson had an 18-point lead on Love in the newly created 4th District and showed that two-thirds of voters in the district had a favorable opinion of Matheson.

"This poll underscores Congressman Matheson's strength among Utahns," said Cori Smith, executive director of the group Center Forward, which supports moderate Democrats. "The people of Utah continue to support Jim year after year because he is a true independent who has a long-standing record of working with both parties to do what's right on behalf of his constituents. This election will be no different."

Matheson also won the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business organization, a group that traditionally supports Republican candidates.

On Monday, the Utah Republican Party opened a call center in West Jordan to help rally support for Love.

"We will use this Victory Center to contact voters one at a time to let them know that Mia Love will stand up to President Obama because Jim Matheson hasn't," Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright said in a statement.

gehrke@sltrib.com

Twitter: @RobertGehrke