Nick Bye will formally apply next week
Torbay mayor Nick Bye is hoping to fight the Totnes seat of Anthony Steen at the next general election.
He has written to the Conservatives' Totnes constituency association saying he would like to be considered as a candidate.
Mr Bye was previously the association's political vice-chairman.
Mr Steen has said he will not stand after claims by the Daily Telegraph that he claimed more than £87,000 over four years for his country home.
Mr Bye said that next week he would formally apply to Conservative headquarters to join the list of candidates.
Mr Bye said: "I think there's a strong need for a high profile candidate who is most likely to win the seat at the next election."
Former barrister Mr Steen, 69, has been an MP in south Devon since 1983, first for South Hams and then for Totnes when the seat was created in 1997.