Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff apologizes for calling black Republican Congressional candidate Mia Love a “novelty.” It’s a sad commentary that black candidates are maligned on both sides of the aisle — Democrats and Republicans. Here’s an excerpt from the Salt Lake Tribune:
Many Republicans were shocked Saturday when Attorney General Mark Shurtleff seemingly dismissed Mia Love — the first black woman nominated for Congress in Utah — as a “novelty.”
“You have to please pick a person with a proven record who can beat Jim Matheson this fall. Not a novelty,” Shurtleff said.
The reference drew boos from many in the audience and outrage from many Republicans.
Republican National Committeewoman Enid Mickelsen said she had an angry confrontation with Shurtleff over the comment.
“At first I didn’t believe it,” Mickelsen said. But Shurtleff, she said, didn’t back away from the comment.
“He said, ‘Enid, what else is her appeal?’ And I lost it,” Mickelsen said.
“I told him he embarrassed the state and as the attorney general of the state he should know better and he would be humiliated by this nationally,” Mickelsen said. “It was a terrible thing to say.”
Shurtleff has since apologized for calling Mia Love “a novelty.” Well, she got the last laugh because unlike Sen. Orrin Hatch, she won 70.4 percent of the delegate count at the convention earning her the Republican Party nomination in the state’s fourth congressional seat. Some observers say she has a good shot in defeating Democratic incumbent Rep. Jim Matheson.
One problem for Mark Shurtleff’s statement about Mia Love being new to politics. Um, wrong. She was elected to Saratoga Springs’ city council in 2004. She served on the city council for six years before becoming mayor. She may be new to national politics, but certainly not to local government.