This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Washington • A Canyon Rim political newcomer has filed to seek the Democratic nomination to take on Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, arguing that the incumbent has turned her back on the needs of her district and shied away from talking to her constituents.
The entrance of Darlene McDonald, 49, to the race could set up a general election between two black women in a district where less than 2 percent of residents are African American. Love was the first black Republican woman elected to Congress in its history. McDonald, who is finishing a bachelor's degree in information technology management from Western Governors University, said her ethnicity is not a reason she decided to run.
Instead she says she was motivated to join the race after Love supported legislation pushed by President Donald Trump, especially the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
"I decided I cannot just continue screaming from the sidelines," McDonald said in an interview Monday, adding that she has had "enough" of Love. "I have to throw my hat in the ring to make a difference."
McDonald's path is formidable against a well-financed, two-term incumbent representing the conservative 4th Congressional District. Love has more than $300,000 in available campaign cash, and she's one of the state's highest profile politicians. Her campaign declined to comment on McDonald's bid.
McDonald, who is raising seven children with her husband, Michael, says the three issues she is mainly concerned about are health care, education and immigration. One of her sons is on the autism spectrum, she said, and she worries about cuts contained in Trump's budget blueprint and the millions who may be dropped off health care rolls if the GOP succeeds in repealing and replacing Obamacare.
McDonald added that she was inspired by the immigration story of Love's parents coming to America from Haiti, but that Love has now embraced changes that would hurt immigrants seeking the same future.
"You don't get to where you are then run and close the door behind you," she said.