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Tea party group backing Mia Love

WASHINGTON — A national tea party group says it will be expanding its political work in Utah to include backing Republican Mia Love in Utah's newly created 4th Congressional District as she seeks to unseat Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson.

FreedomWorks for America, a political action committee, has been active in Utah's Senate race in recent months as it tried to organize opposition to Sen. Orrin Hatch. The group announced Thursday that it was endorsing Hatch's challenger, former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, as well as Love.

FreedomWorks led opposition to Matheson in 2010, spending about $50,000. But the group's political director, Russ Walker, says Love's candidacy could generate national attention from tea party supporters. She is the daughter of Haitian immigrants and would become the nation's first black GOP congresswoman if she wins.