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Mitt Romney will headline a private fundraiser and a public rally in support of Utah congressional candidate Mia Love on Oct. 8 at Thanksgiving Point.

He's the first national political figure to get involved in the state's 4th Congressional District contest, pitting Love against Democrat Doug Owens. The event will begin with a closed fundraising event followed by a public rally that is expected to start at 7 p.m.

This is Love's second congressional campaign. She came less than 800 votes shy of defeating Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, in 2012, in what was one of the highest-profile House races in the nation. In that showdown, Love had the support of a bevy of big name Republicans, including Romney, Sen. John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner. Romney recorded a message that the Love campaign sent as a robo-call to Utah voters and later turned into a television ad. Earlier this year, Love participated in a political conference Romney hosted in Deer Valley.

The 2014 contest has yet to receive the same level of attention as Love's first run. Matheson declined to run again and as a result, Love, the former mayor of Saratoga Springs, is the front-runner for the seat representing the western half of Salt Lake and Utah counties, along with some of central Utah. If she wins, she'll become the first black Republican woman elected to Congress.

Her opponent is the son of the late Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, and an attorney by trade. This is Owens' first run for elective office.

Romney remains a prominent political figure often named as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, despite repeatedly saying he won't run for a third time. He is traveling the nation on behalf of Republican candidates he supports.

The event on Love's behalf comes the day after Romney is slated to keynote a real-estate conference in Deer Valley.