House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan will endorse former state Sen. Tony Strickland in a competitive open-seat House race in California, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.
Strickland is one of eight candidates running in the June 3 top-two primary for the 25th District seat, and the endorsement from the Wisconsin Republican and former vice presidential nominee could help provide some separation from the pack.
"Tony Strickland has a long record of fighting for taxpayers in Sacramento, and that's why we need him in Washington,” Ryan said in a statement. “I support Tony because I know that if he's elected to Congress, he will help me balance the budget, pay down our debt, and create new jobs."
Strickland faces GOP state Sen. Steve Knight and Democrat Lee Rogers, a podiatric surgeon, among other candidates. The two highest vote recipients, regardless of party, will advance to the general.
The race is to replace retiring GOP Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district in 2012 by a 2-point margin, making this seat a Democratic target . Still, the race is rated Republican Favored by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.