Former political rivals share stage to promote outdoor partnership RM

SALT LAKE COUNTY - Republican Representative Mia Love and her former two-time Democratic opponent Doug Owens have set records together.
Their rough-and-tumble competitions in 2014 and 2016 set consecutive records for the most expensive campaigns ever waged for one of Utah's seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

At a press conference at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, the rivals teamed up to announce a new initiative called Utah Outdoor Partners. The program would study the business impact of Utah's outdoor resources.

"I couldn't be prouder to be here with a Utahn who cares about the same issues that we all care about," Love said of Owens.

"As you may know Congresswoman Love and I did not always see eye to eye in the past," Owens joked of Love.

It was an unusual photo op considering Love is considered Utah's most vulnerable incumbent in Congress and it's an election year in which Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is challenging for her seat. Owens was not endorsing Love for election, but the partnership on environmental issues could be seen as undercutting McAdams on a critical issue.

Both Love and Owens insisted Utah Outdoor Partners has nothing to do with politics.

"This is not political. This is not emotional. This is data-driven," said Love.