Del. Thomas E. "Tim" Hutchins said Friday he wants the job of superintendent of the Maryland State Police in the incoming administration of Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Hutchins (R-Charles), who had been a state trooper for 21 years when he retired in 1994 before election to the General Assembly, said he has sent his re{acute}sume{acute} to Ehrlich's transition team and is filling out a job application on the Internet.

Hutchins attained the rank of captain and served three tours as a trooper in the Charles County barrack. If chosen to lead the 2,500-person, $290 million agency, he would be just the second former trooper in more than 20 years to do so.

"I think it is extremely important that the governor look at putting a state trooper in there," Hutchins said. "State troopers are much like soldiers. You need someone who has done it and been down there with them."

Hutchins, 57, said he has not interviewed for the position nor called anyone on Ehrlich's staff to discuss the cabinet-level position. A spokesman for Ehrlich (R) did not return a phone call on Friday.

Hutchins is one of hundreds of Maryland Republicans who are looking for jobs in the new administration once Ehrlich takes office as the first GOP governor elected in more than 35 years. He was one of Ehrlich's biggest supporters in Southern Maryland, stumping for him and holding a news conference attacking Ehrlich's opponent, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D), on budget issues.

"The opportunity presents itself now," Hutchins said of his decision to apply for the position.

Hutchins, a resident of Port Tobacco, has become a popular figure in Charles County politics. He won a third term in November with more votes than all five other delegate candidates.

If he were chosen for the state police post, Charles County Republican Central Committee members probably would follow the same procedure as they did when County Commissioner Marland Deen resigned in 2000, said Ernest L. Wallace, the committee chairman. Then, Al Smith was nominated by the central committee as a replacement, and Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) confirmed the choice.

Despite widespread speculation about who might replace Hutchins, Wallace said he had not considered the field yet.

"I think it would be inappropriate to jump in and start doing things right now," Wallace said.

Hutchins said he would fight to ensure that someone who shares his moderate political ideology replaced him. He also said he would continue to lobby for Charles County issues as a cabinet member.

"Should this appointment reach its time, I think I will still have a great deal of influence with the county commissioners and with the delegation," Hutchins said. "The citizens are not going to lose a voice, that's for sure."