Rebekah Bydlak filed Tuesday to run for Florida State House’s District 1 seat, becoming the first candidate to enter the race to succeed Rep. Clay Ingram, who is term-limited.

Bydlak, a Republican, is a Pensacola native who works as the executive director of the Coalition to Reduce Spending, an advocacy organization dedicated to reducing government spending and debt. During her time leading the organization, Bydlak says she’s “represented the interests of taxpayers here at home and around the country,” and served as “a tireless advocate for reducing spending and reining in big government.”

“I have dedicated my life and professional career to fighting for conservative principles as a private citizen,” Bydlak said in a statement. “For too long we have witnessed the same politicians saying one thing at home and doing another when elected, all the while getting nothing done. I’m running to fight for our conservative values and deliver for Northwest Florida.”

Florida House District 1 covers much of Escambia County, minus the City of Pensacola and the southwestern section of the county, which are within District 2.

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.

“I’ve been humbled by the encouragement I’ve received from family and friends alike in weighing this decision,” Bydlak said. “After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to announce my candidacy for the Florida House.”

This isn’t Bydlak’s first bid for elective office; she ran in a crowded Republican primary field for Northwest Florida’s open congressional seat in 2016, finishing fourth in a field of seven.


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