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Florida House candidate Rebekah Bydlak is hoping to jump to an early lead in her bid to succeed Rep. Clay Ingram next year, raising $60,000 during August, her first month in the race.

The Republican and Cantonment resident hopes to take over the District 1 seat, which represents much of Escambia County, minus the City of Pensacola and the southwestern section of the county, which lie within District 2. Ingram, first elected in 2010, cannot stand for reelection next year due to term limits.

Bydlak raised a total of $50,027 for her campaign account and another $10,000 for a political committee, for a total of $60,027.

“Our campaign continues to be humbled and encouraged by the widespread show of support within our community.” Bydlak said. “I look forward to building on this early momentum and delivering as a conservative champion for Northwest Florida as our next State Representative.”

Some of Bydlak’s largest contributions came from the development community, including $4,000 from entities associated with Pensacola developers James Cronley and Tony Terhaar, as well as $1,000 each from engineering firm Baskerville-Donovan, contractor Whitesell-Green, and developer Robert Montgomery.

A ninth-generation Pensacolian, Bydlak is a descendant of the Bonifay and Gonzalez families, both of which have played instrumental roles in the city’s history. After attending Pensacola State College, Bydlak earned her master’s degree in public administration and political science from the University of West Florida. She currently lives in Cantonment with her husband, Jonathan.

Bydlak — who currently serves as executive director of the Coalition to Reduce Spending, a national advocacy group — ran in a crowded Republican field for Northwest Florida’s open congressional seat last year, finishing fourth in a field of seven.

So far this year, Bydlak faces two challengers: fellow Republican Mike Hill, who represented District 2 in the State House from 2013 to 2017, and Democrat Vikki Garrett. Bydlak has retained the services of Gainesville-based Data Targeting, a Republican campaign consultancy which has been involved in a number of Pensacola-area campaigns, including Hill’s unsuccessful state senate campaign last year and the successful 2014 reelection campaign of Pensacola mayor Ashton Hayward.

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