As the race heats up for Richard Hanna’s soon-to-be-vacant Congressional seat, a Utica-area businessman has received a significant endorsement.

The Independence Party of New York has endorsed Martin Babinec of Little Falls to run as an independent candidate for the 22nd Congressional District.

Babinec is the founder of TriNet, a cloud-based HR company that employs around 2,500 people.

He’s also the founder of Upstate Venture Connect, a non-profit dedicated to growing start-ups in Upstate New York.

Babinec says the focus of his campaign is to create jobs.