Barbara S. Minnich, a former federal policy analyst who says "ordinary taxpayers" need more representation in Congress, has begun an uphill independent campaign for Virginia Rep. Frank R. Wolf's seat in this fall's elections.

Minnich, who joins Democrat MacKenzie Canter III as underdog challengers to the five-term Republican, acknowledged yesterday that she faces long odds in trying to unseat Wolf. She said she has never sought public office, has no major endorsements and no campaign contributions.

Minnich, 50, who lives in Sterling, said she wants to remove the ceiling on the Social Security tax and reduce the rate of the tax, moves she said would lessen the tax burden on middle- and low-income workers.

"We need more equality in our tax structure," Minnich said.

Minnich also said Congress should impose further limits on campaign spending, and said such restrictions are needed to reduce the influence of special interest groups and the ease with which incumbents are reelected to Congress.

"I just believe it's time for a change, to give voters more of a choice," Minnich said.

Minnich said she was a policy analyst in the executive branch for 11 years before leaving that position last summer. She has a bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in political science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

For Minnich and Canter, whose only previous campaign was an unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination to oppose Wolf two years ago, the odds against unseating the entrenched Wolf are daunting.

Wolf is well known throughout the 10th District -- which includes Arlington, northern Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Falls Church and Fairfax City -- and has won his last several elections by wide margins.