Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been awarded a prime-time speaking slot next Wednesday at the four-day Republican National Convention in Tampa.

The former presidential candidate and national co-chair of Mitt Romney’s White House bid will take to the stage with a national television audience just before former Secretary of State Condolezza Rice.

Pawlenty will be part of the build-up to Romney’s running-mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who will address the convention afterwards.

Pawlenty, who dropped out of the presidential race last August, was widely reported to be one of the top runner-ups for the vice presidential pick. Instead, he has been one of Romney’s top campaign surrogates, stumping around the nation for the GOP ticket.