UPDATE: Additional candidates who have filed for the 4th Congressional District include Bill Peterson (DEM), Bob Fuehr (REP), and Jim Vein (LIB).
The race for Utah Congressman Jim Matheson’s seat is on. Republican Mia Love and Democrat Doug Owens both filed Monday to represent the 4th District. Love narrowly lost to Matheson in the last election, and claims to be a better candidate than she was in 2012. But Owens insists he could still pull off a win.
Former Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love lost to Democrat Jim Matheson in 2012 by fewer than 800 votes in the most expensive House race in Utah history. Love says she’s learned a few things since then.
“We’re a lot more prepared. We started early. We were out raising money to see what type of support we would have both locally and nationally,” Love says. “I’m a much better candidate, much more prepared, and we’re a well-run machine.”
Love now has Dave Hansen running her campaign – Senator Orrin Hatch’s former manager. Hansen says Love has already raised a good amount of money, though it’s not at the level of Hatch. The campaign has sent out four mailers in advance of this week’s Republican caucuses. Hansen says he’s hoping to secure the 60 percent support needed at the Republican Party’s April convention to avoid a primary race. So far, Love’s only known Republican challenger is Bob Fuehr.
Meanwhile Democrat Doug Owens, son of former Utah Congressman Wayne Owens, admits he’s an underdog, but says he’s going to put up a good fight.
“I’m definitely making the pitch that this is a winnable race. A Democrat is in the seat, right? That should tell us something,” Owens says. “We can take back Washington one district at a time, keep the ideologues out and put pragmatists in and make the government work again.”
So far, Owens has no confirmed opponents from the left, though that could change. He says he plans to put all his resources toward the general election.