The Republican Party made history last night, electing three African Americans to Congress -- Sen. Tim Scott in South Carolina, and Mia Love in Utah and Will Hurd in Texas on the House side.

Hurd's win was one of the bigger surprises, while Scott and Love were very much expected to win seats.

Out of the three, it's likely that Love, who spoke at the 2012 Republican convention, will emerge as a darling of the party. She's good on television and makes for a good story on race and gender -- two issues that have bedeviled the GOP. In fact, Love is the first African American Republican woman elected to Congress. As in ever.

In her campaign speech, she sounded a little like President Obama in Iowa circa 2008, noting the history of her win.

"Many of the naysayers out there said that Utah would never elect a black Republican [Mormon] woman to Congress," Love said to cheers. "Not only did we do it, we were the first to do it."

Love exaggerated a bit about the naysayers. The former Saratoga Springs mayor had a great shot to win in 2012, but underperformed, and most political observers had few doubts about her success when the man who beat her, Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), announced he would retire this year.

Speaking later on CNN on how race and gender played out in her campaign, Love said the people of "Utah made a statement that they are not interested in dividing Americans based on race and gender."

"I wasn't elected because of the color of my skin; I wasn't elected because of my gender," she said. "I was elected because of the solutions I put at the table."

Yet, along with Scott and possibly Hurd, Love will benefit from her race and gender, precisely because the GOP has had such problems on both fronts for many years.

RELATED: Mia Love and the other new faces heading to Washington