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First black female Republican joins US Congress

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mia Love of Utah on Tuesday became the first black female Republican in Congress as she was sworn in along with 57 other freshmen members of the U.S. House.

Love, 39, a former mayor of Saratoga Springs, was elected in November in Utah's 4th District.

She already has started making appearances on cable news channels and Sunday talk shows, most recently as a guest on ABC's "This Week."

Love acknowledged the attention in a statement Tuesday but added, "I assure the voters of Utah, I'm not going to forget where I live."

She also said Tuesday was a thrilling day for her and her family.

"I'm excited to get started," Love said. "I feel Utah's delegation is in the strongest position yet to represent Utah."

The new congresswoman also said she's honored be serving on the House Financial Services Committee.

Love didn't emphasize her race during her campaign in 2014 and an unsuccessful bid in 2012, but she acknowledged the significance of her election after her victory in November.

Love said her win defied naysayers who suggested a black, Republican, Mormon woman could not be elected to Congress from Utah.

Love has joined the Congressional Black Caucus and is part of a small group of black Republicans in the new Congress.

In addition to being sworn in Tuesday with other new House members, Love participated in an individual ceremonial swearing-in with House Speaker John Boehner later in the day.

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Follow Michelle L. Price at https://twitter.com/michellelprice .

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