Republican candidate Lange Sykes boosted his lead in the three-way primary race for House District 54 with more than $7,000 in February contributions.

“Our community is looking for a strong conservative message from a candidate who creates jobs and has signed both sides of a paycheck,” Sykes said Monday. “The House District 54 seat belongs to its residents, and continuing to remove the hurdles that penalize the private sector for creating jobs is our number one priority on our path back to a free market for Florida.”

Sykes’ campaign spent just $77 in February, bringing the businessman’s on hand total to more than $150,000 heading into March.

The Vero Beach Republican isn’t the only candidate with a six-figure sum in the bank. His closest competitor, Erin Grall, has about $137,000 on hand, including $6,140 in February contributions and $15,000 in loans to her campaign.

The third Republican in the race, Dale Glading, is lagging far behind the Sykes and Grall, with just $18,000 in his account after 13 months in the campaign.

HD 54 is currently held by Republican Rep. Debbie Mayfield, who is running for state Senate against fellow Republican Rep. Ritch Workman in the newly redrawn District 17 seat. HD54 is a safe seat for the GOP, with about 17,000 more registered voters for Republicans than Democrats.

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