Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) threw his support behind Republican Randy Altschuler in his second bid to unseat Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) on Thursday, calling him a self-made businessman with the necessary experience and common sense.

The nod from Pataki is the biggest endorsement to date for Altschuler, who came within a fraction of a percentage point of Bishop in 2010, leading to a weeks-long recount. Altschuler is leading the pack of Republicans seeking the nomination to run against Bishop in November.

“From humble beginnings as a self-made businessman, Randy has the kind of experience and common sense we so desperately need in Washington today,” Pataki said. “In Congress, Randy will rein in spending, hold the line on taxes allowing the private sector to create jobs and get America back on track."