This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
As Mia Love transitioned into her new job as a history-making member of Congress this January, she had to find a place to live in D.C., and get familiar with her House colleagues. She had to learn how to serve in public office. Much of her life changed.
One thing that didn't change was her relentless fundraising. Re-election in 2016 is already on her mind.
"I tell Mia the best time to win re-election is in the year before the election," said Dave Hansen, her political adviser, who believes her re-election will come down to her voting record, her public outreach in Utah's 4th Congressional District and how much money she raises.
From the start of the year to the end of March, she collected $431,900, an unusually high figure for Utah.
Roughly $200,000 of that came from small donors throughout the nation, a continuation of her effort to tap into her political celebrity to fuel her campaign.
She defeated Democrat Doug Owens last November to become the first black Republican woman elected to Congress.
As a freshman member, she has remained largely quiet as she gets up to speed on banking issues tied to her one committee assignment, House Financial Services.
Hansen and the rest of the Love team have kept up their outreach to repeat small donors, hoping to keep that pipeline open in this off-year.
"When you get people in a giving mode and in a routine," Hansen said, "you don't want to lose them."
Love hopes a loaded bank account will ward off potential challengers, including Owens, who has said he'd consider a rematch, though he hasn't taken any steps in that direction just yet. Love has $472,800 in available cash.
"We just want to help him make that decision if we can," Hansen said.
Owens said Love's fundraising wouldn't deter him.
"I wasn't intimidated last time and I'm not intimidated this time," he said. "That is not going to make the decision for me."
Owens said he would make a second run if he felt he could win the race, and he's not sure when he'll make a decision.
"I don't think the money matters after a certain point," he said, "the message matters."
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who is seeking a second term in 2016, raised $738,100 since the beginning of the year and has $762,700 available. So far, he has no Republican or Democratic challengers.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, raised $150,600 in the first quarter and now has $329,000 in the bank. Chaffetz, R-Utah, serves in Utah's 3rd Congressional District.
Utah's other two House members have not yet filed their campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission.