The Deseret News via AP, File) SALT LAKE TRIBUNE OUT; MAGAZINES OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT; TV OUT, Jeffrey D. Allred
SALT LAKE CITY — Democratic challenger Doug Owens raised more money than U.S. Rep. Mia Love in the final months of 2015 as Owens tries to unseat the incumbent.
From Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, Owens raised about $350,000, according to reports filed by a Sunday night deadline.
Love, the former mayor of Saratoga Springs, brought in about $325,000.
Dave Hansen, Love's campaign strategist, said Monday that he's not worried about the congresswoman being outraised in recent months.
He noted that Love still has more money overall in her campaign account to spend on the race this year.
During that same three-month period closing out 2015, Love spent about $302,000 of her campaign cash but still entered 2016 with about $781,000.
Owens spent about $135,000 of his campaign money and finished the year with about $500,000 in his campaign account, records show.
"Mia Love's first responsibility is to be the best congresswoman she can possibly be," Hansen said. "That's what she is concentrated on. The political part is secondary."
Owens said he's proud of the support and said it shows Love is vulnerable because sitting officeholders usually have a huge fundraising advantage.
While in Congress, Love has made appearances on cable news shows but hasn't had any bills passed.
"The voters here are getting excited about somebody who's going to get off TV and get it done," Owens said.
Love faces her first re-election test this November.
She narrowly lost to Democrat Jim Matheson four years ago before winning the 4th Congressional District seat in 2014 when Matheson retired from Congress.
Owens, a Salt Lake City attorney and son of former U.S. Rep. Wayne Owens, challenged Love two years ago. Despite being a political newcomer, he put up a strong showing, collecting 47 percent of the vote to Love's 50 percent.
The 4th district includes several suburbs of left-leaning Salt Lake City and stretches south toward Sanpete County.
It's the most competitive of Utah's four congressional districts and the only national elected office that Democrats have been able to capture in the heavily Republican state in recent years.
While finance reports from Utah's two senators weren't available Monday, the state's three other members in the House of Representatives all filed new campaign finance reports.
—Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah's 1st District raised about $117,000 and spent about $51,000. The seven-term congressman finished 2015 with about $300,000 in his campaign account. The 1st District covers the northernmost parts of Utah, including Ogden and Logan.
—Chris Stewart, who represents Utah's 2nd District, raised $76,000, spent about $72,000 and finished the year with about $245,000. Stewart is in his second term representing the district, which includes most of Salt Lake City west to the Nevada border and south to the Arizona border.
—In Utah's 3rd District, Rep. Jason Chaffetz raised about $162,000 from October through December. He spent about $158,000 and had about $588,000 remaining for his 2016 race. Chaffetz, a fourth-term congressman, represents a district that reaches from Salt Lake City's southeastern suburbs toward the state's borders with Arizona and Colorado.
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