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Tue, 11.04.2014

America elects its first Black Republican woman to Congress

Mia Love

*On this date in 2014, the first Black Republican woman was elected to Congress in U.S. history.

Utah Voters sent Mia Love, the former small-town mayor in that state to Washington DC. She won a narrow victory in the state’s open Fourth Congressional District adding noticeable buzz to the Republican celebrations over their election-night shellacking of Democrats across the country.

Love, the Brooklyn-born daughter of Haitian American immigrants, is poised to become an important symbol for the GOP as the party seeks to broaden its appeal among Blacks and other minorities, who typically vote overwhelmingly Democratic. She is the first Haitian American of any party to be elected to Congress. Her parents escaped from Haiti in the early 1970s, naming their daughter Ludmya Bourdeau after she was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“My parents immigrated to the US with $10 in their pocket, believing that the America they had heard about really did exist,” Love told the Republican National Convention in 2012, the year she unsuccessfully ran for the seat she won. “When times got tough, they didn’t look to Washington, they looked within.”

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