An assistant state attorney general said Wednesday he is planning to run for Congress against Republican Rep. Nancy Johnson (search).

Robert L. Marconi (search), of Brookfield, said he will make a formal announcement Saturday, but acknowledged that beating the 11-term U.S. House member will be a challenge.

"I expect a tough race; I have no illusions," said Marconi. "While she clearly can throw a lot of money at the campaign, I can guarantee she cannot match my hard work, my enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm of my Democratic supporters."

According to her latest Federal Election Commission (searchreport filed last week, Johnson has $1.18 million in cash on hand for her re-election bid.

Two years ago she beat Democratic Rep. James Maloney when redistricting forced the two incumbents to face off in a redrawn 5th District.

Marconi, 48, handles cases for the Attorney General's Office involving consumer crime, transportation and utilities. He has served as chairman of the Brookfield Democratic Town Committee, and ran unsuccessfully for the state senate in 2002.

Marconi has also been a bit of a bipartisan politician. In 1976 he worked as a volunteer for Republican Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr.'s re-election campaign, and in 1990 volunteered in Weicker's successful independent campaign for governor. He also helped manage his wife's two campaigns for the state House.

Marconi is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Connecticut School of Law, and has a master's degree in national security from Georgetown University. He and his wife Louise Trojanowski-Marconi, have two daughters.