A specter is haunting the Congressional Black Caucus, the specter of integration. It is discomforting enough that the caucus has included a Republican among its 43 members since 2011, when Florida’s Allen West became the first Republican to join since 1997. South Carolina’s Tim Scott, an African American, also came to Congress in 2011 but declined to join the CBC.
And soon a second might move in. There goes the neighborhood.
Mia Love, 37, is running against incumbent Democrat Jim Matheson, 52, in a district created when the 2010 Census gave a fourth representative to this booming state — imagine Utah’s growth if the federal government did not own 58 percent of the land.
Love is black but not African American. She was born in Brooklyn in 1975 to Haitian immigrants who arrived with $10. On her father’s wages as a janitor and a factory worker and her mother’s as a housekeeper, she got through the University of Hartford. In Connecticut, she met her husband — he is a Mormon, as she now is and 62 percent of Utahans are.
Fourteen years ago, they moved to this state, where blacks were then about 1 percent of the population, and had three children. In 2009, she was elected mayor of Saratoga Springs, a suburb of 18,000 that grew 1,700?percent between its incorporation in 1997 and the housing crash in 2008, after which Mayor Love governed like this: When constituents said they needed a library, she found $10,000 and suggested volunteers do the rest: “I intended to see if they really wanted a library.” They have one.