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Michael Brandy, Deseret News
Businessman Richard Martin announces his candidacy for governor outside the Salt Lake City Library on Monday.

SALT LAKE CITY — Gold reserves and statewide food storage are the keys to Utah's future, said businessman Richard Martin, who joined the race for governor Monday.

Standing outside the Salt Lake City Library, Martin announced he is challenging Gov. Gary Herbert for the Republican nomination.

Economic stability will depend on innovative ideas, something current state leaders lack, Martin said.

"Nobody has come up with original ideas, especially Gov. Herbert," Martin said. "Is he going to do anything besides talk? We hear a lot of rhetoric but no explanation of how to accomplish anything."

Martin's ideas? Invest state reserve funds in gold and create a state "Strategic Food Reserve" for natural disasters.

As a financial broker, Martin said his clients have never lost money investing in gold and the state could solve many of its financial woes by looking to gold rather than more traditional solutions.

"We are missing out on the essence of financial survival," he said.

During his low-key announcement in front of a handful of supporters, Martin also beat up on the traditional conservative punching bag — bloated government.

"The government should help its people prosper and protect them but then get out of the way," he said. "Our lives are too short for government-required busywork."

Focusing on "sexy luxury programs" has kept the state from reducing programs and cutting back on "inefficient" government employees.

Many current state leaders are too entrenched to reform the system, Martin said.

"Many people have been in the government too long," he said. "They are committed to it and will protect it. I'm saying we can't afford this any longer."

Fighting an incumbent governor will be a challenge, Martin said, but argued that because Herbert was appointed, he lacks popular support.

Despite this assertion, Martin faces an uphill battle for name recognition; a battle he said he intends to win with TV commercials and a self-financed communications blitz.

In the short term, however, Martin's concern is surviving the Republican convention. Beyond courting delegates, he said he is counting on traditionally low turnout in the primaries.

"I think people will come around once they get to know my ideas," Martin said. "People are tired of boring politicians who are married to the system. I have real ideas."

e-mail: jsmith@desnews.com