Utah conservative: GOP should 'end slavery from the federal government'

Rick Bowmer/AP

Mia Love, the Republican mayor of Sarasota Springs, Utah, wowed conservatives in Tampa at the Republican National Convention this summer. After a failed fall campaign that resulted in losing a congressional race to Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, she's again making an appeal to conservatives.

"I will stay -- I don't know what I will be doing -- but I promise you I will stay in this fight to make sure our children have a prosperous future," Love said Sunday at the National Review Institute summit in Washington.

Asked whether she is considering running for Congress again, Love told National Journal she has not decided. "I'm keeping my options open," she said in an interview.

In her brief speech, Love embraced core conservative principles and offered advice on how the party should rehabilitate its image after the failed campaigns of 2012--a key theme at the weekend-long conference.

"We need to remind everyone that the GOP was originally formed to end slavery. … We're trying to end slavery from the federal government," she said.

At a conference that focused heavily on the Republican Party's need to update its message and change its tone so that it can win national elections, Love, who is black, represents a deep bench potential candidates who can sell the GOP's message to minorities, who vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. 

Love lost to Matheson by just over 1 percentage point in November in deeply conservative Utah.

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