Meet Mia Love, Utah's First African-American Mayor

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Mia Love kisses her husband Jason Love at the Avalon Academy

Saratoga Springs made history Tuesday night, becoming the first Utah city to elect a black woman as mayor.

Councilwoman Mia Love defeated challenger Jeff Francom in the contest to replace outgoing Mayor Timothy Parker.

“I am absolutely honored,” Love said. “I am so excited.”

And in Provo, John Curtis beat Rep. Stephen D. Clark to become its next mayor. The election was the culmination of a campaign that saw Clark accused of bribery and the Utah County Republican Party charged with meddling. Curtis said much of the acrimony came from each candidate’s supporters, while he tried to keep his campaign issue-oriented.

“One of my first agenda items is reuniting the divide created by this election,” Curtis said Tuesday night.

In Provo’s Municipal Council District 5, Councilwoman Cindy Richards lost to Sterling Beck, wrapping up a race that saw Richards under heavy attack from a committee formed by Utah County GOP Chairman Taylor Oldroyd.

Curtis, chief operating officer for Action Target, campaigned on a platform of economic development and job creation, as well as cracking down on the city’s gang problem.

Clark had promised to try to improve relations between the city administration and the council.

The council race in the state’s third largest city generated controversy, with Clark accused of bribing one of his rivals to drop the race in return for political power. Clark has denied the allegation.

During the campaign, Clark’s wife, Councilwoman Cynthia Clark accused Oldroyd of throwing the GOP’s support to Curtis. She cited a Utah County GOP booth set up in front of Curtis’ campaign headquarters during the America’s Freedom Festival Parade in Provo July 4.Oldroyd also faces a hearing before the GOP’s executive committee for organizing a political action committee targeting Richards.

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