SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Rep. Mia Love, the first black Republican woman in Congress, returned $1,000 in donations from the leader of an alleged white supremacist group cited by the man suspected of killing nine people in the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting.
Love's campaign confirmed the money was received and returned Monday.
"The Council of Conservative Citizens was one of 105,055 donors to the Friends of Mia Love campaign in 2014. Today, the campaign returned the unsolicited donations, totaling $1,000 over three years," campaign adviser Holly Richardson said in a statement.
Another Utahn, former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, received a $500 contribution for his 2012 race against U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, from the leader of the same council, Earl Holt, according to Federal Election Commission records.
"It was a busy campaign. We had a lot of people donate to our campaign. This is the first I've heard specifically about this guy. I certainly would not have knowingly accepted a donation from a white supremacist," Liljenquist said.
His campaign accounts have been closed for 2 ½ years, so he and his wife will donate an equivalent amount to the victims fund set up by the mayor of Charleston, he said.
Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, now a Utah resident, also has contributions from Holt. The Utahns are among at least two dozen Republicans The Guardian newspaper reported received some $65,000 from Holt.
The suspect in the shooting deaths last week of nine people attending Bible study at an historic black church, Dylann Roof, purportedly posted a manifesto online stating he learned about "brutal black on white murders" from the council's website.