LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska state Sen. Bob Krist is set to kick off his independent campaign for governor, challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Krist will formally announce his bid Wednesday at the Capitol. He is a registered Republican but plans to switch his affiliation to nonpartisan and form a new party seeking to unify voters.

Krist was appointed to the Legislature in 2009 by then-Gov. Dave Heineman. He was elected to the office in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. He represents Legislative District 10, an area that includes northwest Omaha and parts of Douglas County.

Krist is a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and pilot.

Ricketts has already announced his re-election bid and won the endorsement of the Nebraska Republican Party. He was elected governor in 2014.