Veteran political consultant Pat Shortridge says he will run to be chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party, while former state representative Mike Osskopp is dropping out of the race. Shortridge has worked for numerous Republican campaigns around the country in recent years. He served as chief of staff to former Minnesota US Representative Mark Kennedy, and managed his unsuccessful 2006 US Senate run. Osskopp says he’ll support Shortridge’s bid. The new GOP chairman will take the reins of a party seeking to erase hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Businessman Todd McIntyre is also seeking the post, and acting Chair Kelly Fenton says she hasn’t ruled out seeking it permanently. GOP activists meet in St. Cloud on December 31st to choose their new leader.