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Big Republican hitters coming to help Love at the finish
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Republican Mia Love is getting another infusion of national support in the closing weeks of the hard-fought 4th Congressional District battle with Rep. Jim Matheson.

House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will both be in Utah to try to drum up support for Love — a sure sign of a tight race heading to the finish.

Cantor will headline a fundraiser for Love in Lehi on Oct. 25; Boehner, who stumped for Love at a lunch fundraiser in mid-August, will attend a fundraiser in South Jordan on Halloween, six days before the election.

Matheson said the visits are part of a pattern of Washington Republicans trying to benefit their party, but he doesn't think it will sway Utah voters.

"I know John Boehner. I think he's a nice guy, but he's not here for Utah. He's here for a party agenda to try to pick up a seat," Matheson said. "At some point, you've got to stand on your own feet running for Congress. … I do my own campaigning, I go out and meet with Utahns on my own, and I raise my own money."

Love's campaign adviser Ivan DuBois said it's ironic that Matheson criticizes Washington support when most of his campaign contributions came from Washington PACs.

"Mayor Love is honored by the support of leadership and proud of all the endorsements she has received from fiscally conservative leaders across the nation, including Mitt Romney," he said. "Having major leaders come to the state demonstrates that Utah's voice is being amplified, and our influence is increasing."

Quin Monson, director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, said the party's leaders wouldn't be spending time in the district if they thought Love had it locked up.

"It signals that they have a sense that the race is level," he said, but it is hard to figure out how their visit might affect the fence-sitting voters. "There's a danger zone here where the message could be too partisan … and in some ways could play into Matheson's hands."

Love has seen plenty of support from high-profile national Republicans, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Arizona Sen. John McCain and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, now the vice presidential nominee.

Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and Oregon Rep. Greg Walden also made a brief stop in Utah earlier this week to attend a presidential debate-watching party and support Love.

gehrke@sltrib.com

Twitter: @RobertGehrke

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