LITTLE ROCK — Republican state Rep. Ann Clemmer of Benton officially announced for the 2nd District congressional seat Wednesday.

"Our country is in trouble," Clemmer told a small crowd in the old Supreme Court chamber at the state Capitol. "Our debt is now $17 trillion, an amount that we can’t really fathom."

Clemmer became the third Republican to announce for the seat since incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, announced last week that he would not seek a third term in 2014. Banker French Hill of Little Rock and retired Army Col. Conrad Reynolds of Conway announced their candidacies Tuesday.

Democrat Patrick Hays, former North Little Rock mayor, announced for the seat last week.

Clemmer, who is term limited, has taught political science at the college level for 30 years, including the last 22 at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

She said she expects a "vigorous" primary campaign and looks forward to debating the issues.

Clemmer and her husband, Jamie, have three daughters.