The Independence Party gave its nod to Republican Rep. Chris Gibson in the 19th Congressional District on Monday as he faces what’s expected to be a strong and well-financed challenge from Democratic candidate Sean Eldridge.

Gibson, R-Kinderhook, did not receive the endorsement from Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay in 2010, which had thrown its backing behind then-incumbent Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy in the old NY-20 (obviously the extra ballot line did not help Murphy in that race, which proved to be a wave year for the GOP nationally and resulted in the House of Representatives flipping to Republican control).

But Gibson did get the backing the party when running in the newly redrawn NY-19 in 2012, when he defeated Democrat Julian Schriebman.

In a statement, MacKay praised Gibson for seeking “common-sense solutions” and his focus on bipartisanship (Gibson is a member of the No Labels group, which has sought to stress legislative proposals that both parties can support. Democrats, in turn, have sought to cast doubt on Gibson’s bipartisan credentials).

“Chris Gibson has been a hard-working and responsive representative in Congress, and the Independence Party is proud to support Chris for re-election in 2014,” MacKay said in a statement. “Our nation is facing many challenges. We need leaders like Chris Gibson who have demonstrated the courage and willingness to put people ahead of politics and seek out common-sense solutions. We look forward to supporting Chris during the coming election and seeing him continue his good work during a new term.”