Democrat David M. Jones, a marketing director for Wallace Associates, has announced his candidacy for the House District 27 seat currently held by Republican La-Mont Richards, R-Salt Lake.

Jones cites his concern for Utah's economy and a general lack of leadership in the Republican-dominated Legislature as his primary reasons for entering the race."Utah has the potential to be one of the most prosperous states in the nation," he said. "We have one of the best educated, most efficient work forces in the world, and a local business community that ranks among the most talented and innovative in the world."

Yet the average Utah worker earns 12 percent less than the national average, Jones said, and the average Utah company is struggling to keep its doors open.

"If we don't take action to resolve these paradoxes, Utah runs the risk of being permanently relegated to the bottom of the economic heap," he said.

Jones as co-founder of the Utah First Coalition and is a member of the Utah Economic Development Council and the Wasatch Front Economic Forum. He currently serves on the Downtown Planning Committee of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.