(SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah) — If Mia Love is elected to Congress, she would not only be the first black female Republican ever to hold a U.S. House seat, she would also be one of the only Members of Congress to reject the $175,000 salary that comes with the job.
Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, said she has “no problem with having a pay cut.”
“The pay means nothing to me,” Love told CY Interview’s Chris Yandek and Jay Bildstein. “My husband provides a great living for all of us and you know I’m obviously not doing this because I need a job.”
Considering the entire personnel budget for Saratoga Springs’ mayor and five city council members was $36,000 in 2010, the $175,000 salary for a member of Congress is likely ten times higher than Love’s current salary.
“You know I have to tell you, this is going to be a sacrifice for myself and my family,” Love said. “I’m only doing this because I realize that the situation that my children are facing and my potential grandchildren will be facing in this country.”
But Love did not say she would work for free.
“As long as I can go to and from work and it doesn’t create a heavy financial burden, I’m perfectly fine with a pay cut,” she said. “That’s not a big deal.”
As an African American woman, Love has emerged as a rising star of the Republican Party. Currently there are only two black Republicans in Congress, South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott and Florida Rep. Allen West.
Last week Love scored a major endorsement from Ann Romney, the wife of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Love may need all the support she can get as she faces off against six-term Democrat Jim Matheson, who was leading Love by 15 points in the latest poll.
If elected, Love would not be the only representative foregoing the majority of their salary. Rep. John Yarmouth, D-Ky., has donated his congressional income to charity every year since he was first elected in 2006.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kevin Liptak, Ariane de Vogue and Manu Raju, CNN Newswire
Stephen Collinson, CNN Newswire