Independence Party candidate Tom Horner has won endorsement from a key element of the housing industry, support that could pay off in future campaign contributions.

The Minnesota Association of Realtors political action committee and the Builders Association of Minnesota political action committee gave their nod to Horner. Jerry Teeson, vice chair of the Minnesota Association of Realtors, cited property taxes as a key issue to the housing industry. Horner has proposed expanding the state sales tax to raise needed revenue to help close a projected $5.8 billion state budget deficit.

"It's very difficult when you're partisan...to take a common sense position," Teeson said in endorsing Horner over GOP contender Tom Emmer and DFL candidate Mark Dayton.

The Realtors PAC in one of the largest in the state. The builders PAC  says it represents more than 3,000 members that build 80 percent of the state’s residential housing stock.

The Realtors PAC has given $664,000 in campaign contributions since 1998 to candidates for state office, about 57 percent going to Republicans.

Horner could use their help. He had raised only about $184,000 by late July, far below his DFL and Republican rivals, and a fraction of the $2.5 million he had said he would need to have a good chance of winning.