PROVO — A fourth Democrat announced Thursday she will run for the state Legislature in heavily Republican Utah County.

Deon Turley promised to walk all of the 70 miles of House District 61 over the next nine months in a bid to unseat freshman Rep. Keith Grover, R-Provo.

Provo School District Superintendent Randy Merrill endorsed Turley at her press conference Thursday. Turley criticized the Republican-dominated Legislature for legalizing payday loans, which she called loan-sharking, and said the Legislature is threatening public education and acting as an adversary to the teaching profession.

Turley grew up in Ogden and worked as a deputy Weber County clerk in the 1970s. She is president of the citywide Provo PTA Council and a secretary to the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.

Turley earned a bachelor's degree in math at Brigham Young University. She and her husband, R. Steven Turley, a BYU professor, have seven children.

Previously, three other Democrats announced they would challenge Republicans in Utah County.

Former Highland City Council member Gwyn Franson, whose husband is that city's mayor, is running in District 27 (Highland and American Fork). Former Weber State University president Paul Thompson, who also worked at BYU as a vice president and dean of the business school, is running in District 59 (Orem). Former Alpine School District superintendent Steven Baugh is running in District 58 (Orem).