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A Weber State University professor announced Friday he's running for the 1st District congressional seat, challenging 12-year incumbent Republican Jim Han-sen.

Ron Holt, a professor of political anthropology and Middle Eastern studies, made his announcement over the rumble of heavy truck traffic into and out of the Freeport Center in Clearfield, underscoring his emphasis on jobs and economic re-new-al.Holt, a Democrat from Layton, ran unsuccessfully for the Utah Legislature in 1990. Challenging Hansen is not a decision he made lightly, Holt said, but one made after talking to residents from across the state.

During his announcement, Holt said he supports a strong economic base for the country, a leaner military, environmental protection from in-state waste dumping by larger states and a renewal of the space program.

He compared the status of the United States following the collapse of communism with that of England after World War I: triumphant but exhausted.

"We won the Cold War, but we won it by using the national credit card, by spending our children's inheritance," Holt said. "Our victory may be short-lived if we don't act immediately to invigorate the American economy."

Though pledging to run a clean campaign, Holt called Hansen "unchanging and ineffective. The major issues that Utahns have repeatedly listed to me are jobs and economic revitalization, education, health care, the environment and tax fairness."

"Mr. Hansen's legislative record clearly puts him on the wrong side of these issues," Holt said. "In these critical times, we need more than someone just going through the motions."

Holt noted the national debt now approaches $3.5 trillion, which he said is $18,000 for every person in the country. "That's absurd. That's criminal," Holt said, adding he will support a good balanced-budget amendment, even writing one if necessary.

"We decided to announce today at the Freeport Center to underscore the need for a thoughtful transition of our economic infrastructure from defense to civilian purposes," Holt said, calling for reductions in U.S. troops in Europe and a smaller, leaner military.

"Lost jobs in defense can be replaced with a new emphasis on centers for excellence, on high-tech investment in manufacturing, in medicine, research and development, and a revitalized space program," Holt said.

"A renewed commitment to space exploration provides us with much-needed national goals, with a huge boost in research and development funds, with a technological edge in the international market, and remember, every dollar is spent right here on jobs in America."

Holt pledged to run a vigorous but clean campaign, challenging Hansen to early and frequent debates.