Mike Osskopp, a former state representative who sought the Republican party chairmanship, Tuesday took himself out of the race and said he will support another candidate, Pat Shortridge.

"i always thought the ideal candidate would have two major attributes,'' Osskopp said. "Access to major donors, and number two, have the ability to run the party more like a campaign, instead of a business.'' He said Shortridge, a veteran of state and national campaigns, has those skills.

Once Shortridge told him he was entering the race for party chair, Osskopp said, "I told him I'd step aside and support him.''

That leaves Shortridge facing Todd McIntyre in the race for chairmanship, which is to be decided by the party's central committee on Dec. 31. The party is seeking a replacement for Tony Sutton, who resigned Dec. 2.

Osskopp served in the House from 1995-2002, representing the Lake City area, and later worked as an aide to U.S. Rep. John Kline.