POLITICS: Campaigns

Jim Matheson retires, clears conservative star Mia Love's path to Congress

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Beltway Confidential,Congress,Joel Gehrke,Republican Party,Utah,2014 Elections,Campaigns

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, barely defeated Republican opponent Mia Love in 2012, but his decision not to participate in a 2014 rematch clears her path to Congress.

"I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the House of Representatives," Matheson wrote in a Facebook post. The Utah Democrat beat Mia Love by just 768 votes during the 2012 election.

“This is a devastating blow for national Democrats," NRCC spokeswoman Alleigh Marré said of Matheson's announcement. "As we turn the corner into an election year, yet another Democrat is realizing that they can't run on Obamacare.”

Love emerged into a national conservative star during the campaign, especially when she gave a speech at the Republican National Convention. That popularity didn't diminish when she lost the November election and she announced that she would challenge him again earlier this year.

Love raised over $475,000 during the quarter ending July 1. “I'm better prepared, I'm a better candidate. Having gone through this, I understand the issues so much better, how campaigns work,” she said of her candidacy, per Politico. “I have people on the campaign who know exactly what they're doing. They've won races before.”

“This is not my first rodeo,” Matheson said defiantly in the same story. What he didn't say is that he'd already been through his last.

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