Democrat Craig S. Oliver has officially announced his candidacy for Utah's 3rd District congressional seat, now held by Republican Howard Nielson.

The announcement has been expected since Oliver became the first of two Democrats to file for the seat last month. He will battle Bob Stringham, the Utah County Democratic chairman, for the right to face Nielson in November.In his announcement Oliver said he is in the process of moving his family's residence from Taylorsville to West Jordan. His new home also will serve as his campaign headquarters, he said.

Oliver's wife, Brenda, will manage his campaign, while Robert de la Cruz will serve as campaign treasurer, Sharon Peterson as events coordinator and Stephen Staker as research analyst.

Oliver, who ran unsuccessfully against Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, in 1986, said his initial campaign efforts will be to line up delegate support for the state Democratic convention to be held in June.

He will run an issue-based campaign, focusing on the 3rd District's stagnant economy, air pollution problems in Utah County, the needs of the state's public education system and a need for increased emphasis on regional development.

Nielson has not addressed those issues, Oliver said.

"Mr. Nielson tells us that if re-elected this will be his last term," Oliver said. "The 3rd District cannot allow two more years of neglect simply to allow the incumbent to pad what is already a bloated retirement pension.

"The problems are far too serious. We must select an energetic alternative to what we now have. I humbly submit myself as one willing to do the job."

Oliver will spend the next three weeks walking the 3rd District in Price, Provo and the Salt Lake Valley. He plans to make campaign appearances at the county Democratic conventions at all 13 counties within the district, Oliver said.