Love, the mayor of Sarasota Springs, Utah, is a black female Mormon running for Congress in Utah. Republicans are hoping that the telegenic Love has the demographics to reach audiences that have traditionally been considered unreachable for Republicans. After her rousing, seven-minute speech that brought the crowd to its feet, her name is on many lips in Republican circles.
“President Obama’s version of America is a divided one — pitting us against each other based on our income level, gender, and social status,” said Love. “His policies have failed! We are not better off than we were 4 years ago, and no rhetoric, bumper sticker, or campaign ad can change that.”
Love, 37, whose full name is Ludmya Bourdeau Love, said her parents immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti with $10 in their pocket, “believing that the America they had heard about really did exist.”
“When times got tough they didn’t look to Washington, they looked within,” she said. “The America I grew up knowing was centered in self-reliance and filled with the possibilities of living the American dream.”
Love is one of three black Republicans to address the convention, in addition to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Congressman Artur Davis, a former loyal Obama supporter who defected to Romney.
“Ms. Love is in the demographic the Republican Party desperately needs, which is a non-white-male speaking at the convention,” University of Utah political scientist Thad Hall told the Salt Lake Tribune. “She also is a person who is very conservative and symbolic of the ideological positions of the party, so she allows her party to get their message out and use a messenger who isn’t just another white guy.”
Before she spoke, Love, who was elected mayor of Sarasota Springs in 2009 after serving on the City Council, said she wasn’t nervous.
“Really, I think it’s so important to tell the truth about the realities we’ve been facing here. So I guess I’m not freaked out about it just yet,” she said, “because there has to be a message that has to be portrayed about the situation that our country is in, and we have to do everything we can to get that message out.”