Rep. Mia Love brings big names (like Mitt Romney) to Lehi rally

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mia Love, Representative for Utah's 4th Congressional District, addresses the delegates at the Utah Republican Nominating Convention Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Maverik Center.

Facing a tight re-election race in a district Democrats hope to flip, U.S. Rep. Mia Love tapped Mitt Romney and other boldface Republican names at a rally in Lehi on Friday.

“We’ve got to make sure the Democrats don’t get their hands on this seat,” Sen. Mike Lee said. “We need Mia Love to get re-elected. We need her very, very badly.”

She’s being challenged by Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, a moderate who is well-known in the politically mixed suburbs that make up a large portion of the district and attacks Love as a “no show.” Both candidates have about the same amount of cash in the bank, about $1.25 million.

Love, the first black female Republican in Congress, highlighted conservative issues like abortion and her work helping to secure the release of Josh Holt, a Utah man who spent nearly two years in a Venezuelan jail.

“If your children are ever in trouble, stuck in another country, I have your back,” she told a group of about 150 supporters.

Romney said keeping Love in Washington would “keep things happening in Utah for the future.”

The former Massachusetts governor is running for U.S. Senate in Utah, where he’s well known for being the first Mormon presidential candidate for a major party and his role organizing the 2002 Winter Olympics. He’s the heavy favorite in the race to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch.

His popularity in Utah could help bolster Love, who won the seat from a retiring Democrat in 2014.

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop urged supporters to help keep the state’s congressional delegation all-Republican so they could share information from their respective committees. “We need her, we need her data, we need her help,” he said.