House District 52 front-runner Brian Hodgers announced Thursday that he picked up an endorsement from nonpartisan group Business Voice of Florida’s Space Coast.

“Brian Hodgers is clearly the strongest pro-business candidate in the race for House District 52,” Business Voice Political Committee Chair Larry McIntyre said. “As a business owner himself, he knows how devastating higher taxes and burdensome regulations can be. We are pleased to support him and look forward to working with him to promote policies that will make our regional economy and our entire state stronger.”

Executive Director Kathryn Rudloff said the local business advocacy group picked the Melbourne Republican over the other candidates in the race because “he stands out as the candidate who really understands the concerns of our business community.”

“He understands that heavy-handed government policies are a bottleneck for free enterprise and job creation. But he will also work for sensible policies to make sure we have reliable infrastructure and a highly trained workforce,” she said.

Hodgers, who also recently picked up an endorsement from Associated Builders and Contractors, said he was “honored” to have the support of Business Voice.

“As a business owner, I understand how important it is for the Legislature to make sure Florida remains business-friendly,” he said in a news release. “I look forward to working with Business Voice on policies that will strengthen our economy and create greater opportunity for business growth in our region and across the state.”

Hodgers is running in a four-way GOP primary for the seat currently held by termed-out Republican Rep. Ritch Workman and is currently far ahead in fundraising.

Through April, he had nearly $350,000 on hand, compared to about $25,000 for his closest competitor, Monique Miller.

Also running are termed-out Sen. Thad Altman, who had about $9,000 in the bank heading into May, and Robert VanVolkenburgh, who had $5,000 on hand through the same date.

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