Paul Ryan Endorses in Special Election

Ryan has picked sides in a special election in Alabama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., endorsed GOP operative Wells Griffith in the upcoming special election for Alabama's 1st District, according to AL.com.

"I've known Wells Griffith for a long time and consider him a true friend," the former vice presidential nominee told the paper. "Wells is committed to moving our country and our party forward. His dedication to advancing conservative principles is admirable and he will be a strong conservative voice for South Alabama."

Another Republican player in 2012, former Sen. Rick Santorum, endorsed conservative columnist Quin Hillyer in what has become a very crowded primary. Several candidates are running to replace Republican Jo Bonner, who resigned from Congress on Aug. 2.

Griffith is a former deputy chief of staff at the Republican National Committee.

The special election primary is scheduled for Sept. 24. If necessary, a primary runoff will be held on Nov. 5.

If there is no runoff, the general election will be on Nov. 5. In the event a runoff is required, the special general election will occur on Dec. 17.

A safely Republican seat, the GOP primary will likely determine Bonner's successor.