A Provo real estate developer's bid for the 3rd Congressional District seat didn't end with his loss in the Republican primary election 18 months ago.

Tom Draschil nearly pulled out the GOP nomination in 1994 despite running a last-minute campaign. Dixie Thompson beat him by 160 votes."Last time we didn't even know we were going to consider running until a week before the deadline," he said. "Last time we didn't have the time or money to organize throughout the district."

Since that primary loss, Draschil has been building grass-roots support, raising money and hobnobbing with Republican bigwigs in Washington, D.C. He was scheduled to formally announce his candidacy Tuesday afternoon on the steps of the Historic County Court

house in Provo.

Draschil, 45, says three-term Democratic Rep. Bill Orton is ripe for picking.

"With the new Republican majority in Congress, our district has been disenfranchised by continuing to be represented by a Democrat who, since the 1994 election, has voted with the sentiments of his conservative district less than 50 percent of the time while continuing to support the tax-and-spend policies of the Democratic Party," Draschil said.

Without Democrats controlling Congress, he said, Orton no longer has the leeway to cast votes simply to please constituents.

"He has been successful in hiding the fact that he has never been able to be effective," Draschil said.

Draschil said he believes he must raise about $500,000 to run an effective campaign. He intends to put up $100,000 of his own money and raise the rest. He pumped $38,000 into his 1994 campaign but raised only $25,000.

Draschil anticipates Republican Party leaders in Washington will provide significant money to his campaign. He said party leaders told him they are taking aim on unseating Orton in 1996. In 1994, "the focus was on getting rid of Karen Shepherd," he said. Enid Greene Waldholtz defeated the Democratic Shepherd in the 2nd Congressional District.

How national Republican leaders redirect their efforts might depend on whether Waldholtz comes through her well-publicized financial troubles.

A conservative Republican, Draschil is a staunch supporter of states' rights and believes the federal government should not be involved in education, the environment and the economy.

Draschil is the third Republican to announce his bid for the 3rd District. Orem plumbing business owner Parley Helle-well and Spanish Fork contractor Glenn Way declared candidacies earlier this fall.