Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 30, 2014

The Businessman Taking On Mia Love (Video)

The candidate: Businessman Bob Fuehr
The member: Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson is retiring from Congress after seven terms.
The district: Utah’s 4th is House Republicans’ most certain pickup this cycle. Matheson had a unique political brand and without him in the equation, the battle to watch for this seat is the GOP nomination process. Fuehr will face off against Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love.

With Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson out of the political equation in Utah’s 4th District, Republican businessman Bob Fuehr might be the only thing standing between Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love and Congress.

Love, the GOP’s 2012 nominee, had been preparing to challenge Matheson again before his surprise retirement announcement in December. She is currently favored for the nomination, and many Washington Republicans hope that Love, an African-American, will come to Congress and present a more diverse image for the party.

But Fuehr, a retired telecommunications executive who lost a bid in 2012 for the 2nd District, cautions against some of that thinking.

“I’m better qualified. I have greater depth and breadth of experience than Mrs. Love,” he said. “And I think that Mrs. Love is a fine person. But I think getting an African-American woman into Congress ought to be the result of the election, not the goal of the election.”

Fuehr’s hopes start — and could end — at the April 26 state party convention. Unless a candidate takes 60 percent of the delegate vote, the top two vote-getters will face off in the June 24 primary.

“First we’ll start with the convention,” he said. “I’ve got to convince a majority of the delegates at the convention that I have a better chance of beating the Democratic challenger than Mrs. Love does, and get into the primary.”

Fuehr also brushed off questions that, as a non-Mormon, he could have a tougher time running for office in Utah.

“Well, seeing the fact that I am a Roman Catholic and I’ve never been an LDS running for office before, I don’t really know,” he said. “The religion aspect, or the religion question, really hasn’t come up in the campaign.”

This video interview series questions the scores of congressional hopefuls who visit the CQ Roll Call offices each cycle. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed. Have a question for a candidate? Follow us at @RollCallPols to learn about upcoming interviews.

Previous candidate interviews:

  • rnk1965

    It seems silly to run against Mia Love and have an unnecessary intraparty fight this year. Love will win the Republican nomination regardless of Bob Fuhr. All this does is weaken her, weaken the GOP, and open things up for the Democrats in the district. I also thought that Fuhr’s comments about Love’s skin color were unfortunate.

    Mia Love has my full support in this race.

  • Jared Whitley

    Love has 10 years of experience as an elected official – Fuehr doesn’t

    • BrettCoffin

      A small city mayor and counsel women verses someone who has worked in the business world?

  • ThinkwellinOrem

    Greater depth and breadth of experience? If he were applying for a position in business perhaps, but we’re talking about public service. He has no experience as a public representative. As far as having a better chance of beating a challenger, Mia lost to the incumbent by a mere 768 votes, and since has gained national attention as one of the top Republican women to watch in 2014. Matheson saw the writing on the wall and was smart to drop out. Bob Fuehr is deluding himself if he thinks he’s more experienced and has a better chance of beating a challenger. Mia is the most energizing thing to happen to the Republican Party in a long time. Don’t believe me? Watch her 2012 Utah Republican Convention and National Republican Convention speeches. This stellar mayor will be a great representative and she will advance conservative principles with energy and integrity.

  • Tzimbalo

    As a ten year resident of Saratoga Springs, I know that Mayor Love has a strong character and solid conservative principles! I don’t know that about her opponent.

  • D Mills

    Mia is a good person. Bob has a point about being more qualified to be a congressperson. He is Harvard educated, has experience as a corporate executive, has international experience, and most importantly wants to use his experience to serve the people of Utah. He is not running because he wants a career in politics as Mia does. He has already had an impressive and successful career and now wants to use all the practical experience he has gained to bring a fresh perspective to congress. Wasn’t ‘business experience’ the reason why so many in our country though Mitt Romney would make a great President?

    • http://www.theclassicalliberal.com The Classical Liberal

      A lot of what you say makes sense. Bob Fuehr does have an impressive resume – perhaps better than Mia Love. BUT her resume is quite good AND people know where she stands AND we know she can run a very good race (she came very close to beating Matheson in 2012).

      Many (myself included) do not know Fuehr well enough and we don’t know how good a campaign he will run. When you add up resume; experience in running campaigns and dealing with a hostile press Mia Love comes out ahead. When you include the fact we have a fairly good understanding about what her views are (as opposed to Fuehr) then Mia Love comes out far ahead.

      She ran a very good campaign in 2012; will be only better in 2014 and will be a great addition to the US Congress.

      • CU1

        More importantly, Bob is an opportunist, while Mia was in for the long haul, even when it was thought that Matheson was going to run. Pre Matheson pulling out, Bob was no where to be seen!

        • http://www.theclassicalliberal.com The Classical Liberal

          The more I learn about him the more I think the same thing. I don’t think it makes sense for any Republican to enter the race now. We have an excellent candidate in Mia Love. She proved herself in the 2012 race. We know she is qualified both as a person and as a candidate.

  • Christian M. Rodier

    What a disgusting thing for Bob to say about Mia Love’s gender and race. He absolutely owes Mia Love an apology.

    • BrettCoffin

      I don’t think you understood what he said.

  • Charles Reese

    Hmm let’s see, let’s start with this fuehr stop looking at mia’s skin it isn’t about black or white it is about who is best for Utah. You say “I believe in what we in the tea party believe but not the way we would go about it” I don’t believe you do I believe your just like every other rihno republican in congress right now handing our country over to Obama!! I’m sorry I want someone different Mia doesn’t have a problem standing up for us. She stands with Mike Lee .she has been elected for 10 years subject to the people she has served unlink you sir who had been the boss and subject to no one but yourself.so she must be doing a great job to still be there right. I DON’T WANT THE SAME THING!! And by the way I agree with a previous poster you sir do owe Mia a big apology for what you said. Mia is what we want for Utah not the same old thing.

  • webworking

    Bob, with all due respect, speaking as one old white guy to another, you’re not very politically astute to say that you’re better qualified than Mia Love. You open yourself up to questions like:
    - “Did you pull yourself up by the bootstraps against all odds like Mia and her family did?”
    - “Can you deliver the kind of inspiring speech that identifies you as a leader like Mia can?”
    - “Who elected you mayor, or to any other public office for that matter?”

    You should define “better qualified” before you start making assertions about being so.

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