Republican State Chairman Mark Fahleson on Monday began informing members of the Nebraska party's governing body that he has decided to seek the post of GOP national committeeman.
Fahleson's decision sets the stage for a later announcement by Omaha attorney Brian Buescher that he'll be a candidate to succeed Fahleson as state party chairman.
Both Fahleson and Buescher will have the support of Gov. Dave Heineman when they seek election to the key party leadership posts at the Republican state convention in Grand Island on July 14.
Fahleson has been party chairman since 2009 and has led the GOP to a series of election successes with a combative and aggressive style. Although he has been a member of the Republican national committee, a move to the post of committeeman would position him in a national party leadership role.
As a member of the national committee since 2009, Fahleson noted in a letter to GOP state central committee members, he has "steadily moved up 58 slots on the RNC seniority list -- something that will benefit our great state if I am allowed to continue to serve on the RNC."
National Committeeman Pete Ricketts recently announced he will not seek re-election, prompting Fahleson to make his move.
Sen. Mike Johanns and former GOP National Committeeman Duane Acklie have endorsed Fahleson's candidacy.
"Regardless of what happens, you may rest assured that I am committed to working with our party's leaders to ensure that Nebraska remains 'Forever Red,'" Fahleson wrote in his letter to central committee members.
Buescher, a partner at Kutak Rock in Omaha, leads the law firm's agribusiness litigation team.
Tim O'Dell of Blair announced Monday he will not be a candidate for state chairman. He had been mentioned as a possible contender for the chairmanship.