Love files for candidacy in 4th District race

Posted at 10:20 PM, Mar 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-18 11:04:24-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's the race to replace Utah's lone Democrat in congress.

Rep. Jim Matheson will not seek an eighth term but the Republican who nearly unseated him two years ago filed for candidacy Monday.

Mia Love is back and this time she has a new challenger.

Mia Love is not the only Republican candidate who is campaigning for the 4th District. She'll be facing a former fortune 100 executive for the nomination.

Presuming Love is the party's favorite, the former Saratoga Springs mayor could be up against Doug Owens, a democrat whose father was a former U.S. congressman.

"My father Wayne Owens used to be a Congressman from the State of Utah, taught us you need to step up when you there are things that you believe in, and there are some things that I believe that aren't getting said in our state," Doug Owens said.

Just like Matheson, Doug Owens also has a father with political prowess. Wayne Owens was a Utah Congressman from 1973-75 and again from 1987-93. Now his son, a practicing attorney for more than two decades wants to follow in his footsteps.

"I think I know a little bit about issues of interest to women, wage disparity between men and women is a huge thing," Doug Owens said, who has spent the last two years as a stay-at-home dad with his three boys and teenage daughter.

He calls himself a Democrat without labels and plans to bring his 14-year-old daughter along the campaign ride.

"He's always had strong political ideas and like he's always told me about what he thinks, he's just really happy doing it I think," said Emmeline Owens.

If Doug Owens scores the party's nomination, he could face a tough race against a familiar face among voters in the 4th District -- Mia Love.

Two years ago Love had the backing of then Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and SUPER PACS who poured millions into her campaign against the state's lone Democrat in congress, becoming the most expensive district race in Utah history.

Love narrowly lost to Matheson.

Now she's back, in it to win it.

"I'm a much better candidate, much more prepared, we're a well-run machine," Love said as she filed her candidacy.

The former mayor of a small town said she was unsure about entering the political arena again until her kids gave her the push she needed.

"It was my kids’ idea. One morning they got up and said, ‘when are we running again?’ I said, ‘gosh aren't you guys excited about me being here, making you lunch,’ and my daughter said ‘Mom, you said this was all about us. Are giving up on us?’

“It really hit home; it reminded me what this is all about," said Love.

Love said most of her money this time around will come from individual donors.

Bill Peterson is the Democrat challenger to Doug Owens and Libertarian candidate Jim Vein, who ran for the seat in 2012 will also be running in the 4th District.

Love will most likely be challenged by fellow Republican, Bob Fuehr.

Fuehr intends to file his candidacy for the 4th District Tuesday and released a statement to FOX 13:

"I am entering the race to bring seasoned leadership to Washington. I am not a professional politician."

Fuehr is a former fortune 100 executive and Director of Utah's Office of business and economic development.