Mia Love wowed the Republican National Convention last year with a rousing speech on "the American I know" -- one she described as centered in self-reliance and filled with the possibilities of living the American dream.
The rising Republican star, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti with next to nothing, brought her message to the Tri-Cities on Friday as the keynote speaker at the Franklin County Republicans' Lincoln Day Dinner at the Pasco Red Lion Hotel.
Before her speech, she talked to the Herald about getting back to basics and the need to run the country from the ground up.
"As a mom and a wife and a PTA member, as the person that takes my kids to the doctor's office and goes to the grocery store -- we're the ones that understand what real life is like, and what people are dealing with," Love said. "That's what I mean by the ground up. We have to get engaged, we have to get involved."
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Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, said she got into politics because "there was a need, and I stepped up."
"I always tell people, there's nothing special here. I'm a mom, I'm a mayor, I'm a wife," Love said.
Last year's presidential election was a tough night for conservatives, she said. "A lot of people kind of felt like, well what are we going to do next? Have we lost? Have we lost who we are as Americans?"
People get discouraged, Love said, and "they wonder if it's worth it, to continue on and try. But I think that it is worth it. I think that we've always had struggles, and we've always overcome them as a country. We've always fought for individual liberty and freedom, and we shouldn't stop now. I can't guarantee what the future is going to look like. But I can guarantee that we will not recognize this country if we don't do anything."
She also planned to talk about encouragement, saying there's room for confidence and people should be confident in their conservative values.
Love narrowly lost a bid for a U.S. House seat last year, and she said Friday that she's seriously considering another try. She's filed for the seat so she can raise money.
The dinner in Pasco on Friday drew a large crowd. Brad Peck, Franklin County Republican Central Committee chairman, said there were 500 confirmed reservations. Organizers had to shut down registration due to space constraints.
"We're really pleased with the turnout and support we've gotten. We're especially excited that people are coming in from all over the state," Peck told the Herald.
U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings,R-Pasco, also was scheduled to speak.