After conceding a hard-fought election to her Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Mia Love, R-Saratoga Springs, says her loss shines a light on the Republican Party’s relationship with black people and other minorities.

At a press conference in Salt Lake City Monday morning, Love said she had called to congratulate Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams on his victory following final voting results released last week giving him a 0.26 percent lead, just barely out of the margin for a recount.

Love said she’s proud of what she’s accomplished during her time in Congress, and that despite a tough race, “the cost is worth it.”

She addressed remarks made by President Donald Trump following election night in which he insinuated she lost because she had distanced her campaign from his presidency, though she called him frequently about freeing Utahn Joshua Holt, who was imprisoned in Venezuela.

“I am proud of the fact that I nagged the president every day to bring Joshua Holt home,” Love said, but added that Trump’s behavior made her wonder what he had to gain by saying such things about a fellow Republican.

“This gave me a clear vision of his world as it is,” Love said. “No real relationships, just convenient transactions.”

Love said the events of the past year have provided her with a big reminder of who she is and what her purpose is.

“This election experience and these comments shines a spotlight on the problems Washington politicians have with minorities and black Americans,” Love said. “It’s transactional, not personal. You see, ... politicians claim they know what’s best for us from a safe distance, yet they’re never willing to take us home. Because Republicans never take minority communities into their home ... and into their hearts, they stay with Democrats and bureaucrats in Washington.”

However, Love said, minorities also need to ask themselves what the cost is of staying with the Democratic Party.

“I know conservative policies work,” Love said. “They lift everyone, they lift the poor, the young, the vulnerable, the black and the white.”

Love said even in a new role without the title of Representative, she will continue to promote conservative policies.

“The problem is not the policy,” Love said. “It is that we are never taken into hearts and into homes.”

When asked if she plans to run again in 2020, Love said she does not know yet whether she will run, but did say she’s not going away and plans to be involved in other ways.

“I’m not going away, but now I am unleashed,” Love said. “I am untethered, and I am unshackled and I can say exactly what’s on my mind.”

Katie England covers politics, the environment and courts for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2599 or kengland@heraldextra.com.

Katie England covers politics, county government and southern Utah County for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2599 or kengland@heraldextra.com.

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