In August, Lange Sykes lost his bid for the District 54 Florida House seat. Ahead of that primary election, island weekly reporter Ray McNulty raised questions about some 19 audit letters Sykes received from the Florida Division of Elections. McNulty also reported on Sykes’ connections to political strategists working for All Aboard Florida.
McNulty wrote: “Does it matter that Sykes, a Riomar resident and first-time candidate, has already received a whopping 19 audit letters from the Florida Division of Elections, which has cited several of his campaign treasurer’s reports for errors and/or omissions?
“Are they (primary voters) at all troubled by the fact that Sykes’ paid consultant, Matt Mohler, once supervised James Christian Bailey, when the St. Petersburg College student-support specialist worked briefly as a researcher for Front Line Strategies in 2010? Bailey’s write-in candidacy closed the District 54 Republican primary, shutting out Democrats and Independents.”
See full story: Campaign audit letters, other issues dog Sykes
In his current campaign, Sykes is running for a seat on the Vero Beach City Council. He is heavily supported by a political action committee funded by Florida Power and Light and some three dozen Indian River Shores residents. To date, the PAC has raised $56,000.
Last month, Sykes attended a community meeting in the Shores at which he was introduced by Town Mayor Brian Barefoot as a member of “the Shores team.”
According to campaign finance reports filed with the City, 89 percent of Sykes’s campaign contributions have come from Shores residents. Sykes has pledged to sell Vero Beach’s Shores customer base to FPL for $30 million. He has rejected the recommendation of a team of five utility experts, who advised the City it will take $47 million, not $30 million, to partition and downsize Vero Electric without the move leading to higher electric rates for the remaining customers.