I want to talk about the dysfunction in Washington and all of the things that I've done in my city that I can take to Washington — fixing and balancing budgets, and making sure that we create a sustainable city. —Mia Love
SALT LAKE CITY — Doug Owens and Mia Love each officially declared their intentions Monday to seek Utah's 4th Congressional District seat.
Owens is the son of Wayne Owens, who served eight years as a Utah congressman in the U.S. House.
Love, who lost to Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, in 2012, says her three children were the reason she decided to run again as a Republican candidate for Congress.
"I was looking forward to a break," she said. "At one point, my children asked, 'OK Mom, when do we start up again? You've always told us, if you're doing what's right and you fail, you do it again.' I have to practice what I preach."
As Matheson is not running for re-election, Love says she won't be "playing catch-up" in the coming election.
"I'm a much better candidate with a well-run campaign," she said.
The former mayor of Saratoga Springs says she has "a history of solving problems," and hopes to focus her experience on fiscal sustainability within the government.
"I want to talk about the dysfunction in Washington and all of the things that I've done in my city that I can take to Washington — fixing and balancing budgets, and making sure that we create a sustainable city," she said.
Love also plans to reduce federal control of education, support the development of consumer-based health care, increase border security and vote against net tax increases, according to her website.
"I'm not running against anyone," she said. "I'm running for the state of Utah and for the people in Utah."
Owens is a Utah native and a father of four. He said his father taught him to "stand up for what you believe."
Owens' focus will be on improving economic conditions for middle-class Americans and creating tax incentives for businesses that choose not to operate overseas.
"In our state, I really feel that the middle class has been pushed to the wall with stagnating wages for 30 years now," he said. "We need to focus on how growth can benefit families and produce more living-wage jobs."
Owens, who calls himself "a Democrat without labels," says his more than 20 years of experience as a practicing attorney will help him work across party lines and prevent partisan labeling and political gridlock.
"Partisan rancor prevents needed action, including repairing serious problems with the Affordable Care Act, an orderly budget process, immigration and defending American competitiveness abroad," Owens' website states.
"We label each other and we stop listening. That's been the problem of gridlock in Washington," he said. "I think we can take back Washington one district at a time ... and get things done for people here and across the country."
Owens, who was a stay-at-home father for two years while his wife completed residency as a pediatrician, also hopes to improve economic disparities between men and women.
"I've got a lot of empathy for those kinds of situations and am anxious to work on wage disparity," he said.
His father served a term in Congress from 1973-1975, then served three more terms from 1987 to 1993. In 2002, Wayne Owens died of a heart attack in Israel.