Maryland businessman Kenneth L. Wayman said yesterday that he would seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate this year, joining an increasingly crowded GOP field.

Wayman, who lives in Carroll County, said that if elected, he would emphasize education, universal health care and protecting Social Security and Medicare while at the same time promoting tax relief.

"We must have solutions that meet the needs of working Americans and not the needs of the special interests and career politicians," Wayman said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. He did hold a news conference as most other candidates have done.

Wayman is the president of Systems Consulting Services Inc. in Ellicott City, a computer software company he has run for 13 years. He sought the GOP Senate nomination in 1998, but he is stressing his background in business and that he is not a career politician.

"As an entrepreneur who has founded and run a successful high-tech software company, I am the only candidate who has the hands-on experience and technical understanding necessary to ensure that our government's tax and regulatory policies do not harm this vital area of our economy," he said.

The primary is March 7.

Wayman joins a Republican field that includes Montgomery County businessman Rob Sobhani, Timonium physician Ross Z. Pierpont, Howard County lawyer Paul H. Rappaport, Montgomery County lawyer Robin Ficker and Kensington freelance reporter Kenneth R. Timmerman.

They are all seeking a chance to unseat Democrat Paul S. Sarbanes, who is preparing to run for his fifth term in the Senate.

CAPTION: Republican Kenneth L. Wayman heads a software company in Ellicott City.