Former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow has officially endorsed Brian Topp's bid for the federal NDP leadership.

Topp, who served as Romanow's deputy chief of staff in the 1990s, received the endorsement Tuesday at a hotel in Saskatoon.

"It just popped into my mind. This was the person that we had to convince to run," Romanow said.

Romanow said Topp worked to put Saskatchewan's financial house in order and has the right combination of "skills, experience and temperment to be [a] national leader."

Topp spoke about some of his policy positions, including opposition to the $13-billion Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S and any privatization of health care.

"He has the character, the intellect, the commitment to principles, and the vision to deal with some of the issues that he's described in his remarks today," Romanow said.

Topp, who's from Montreal, was the first to formally enter the race to succeed Jack Layton, who died last month from cancer.

The Romanow endorsement follows a vote of support from former federal NDP leader Ed Broadbent.