Contrary to common thinking, the candidates that spend the most, don’t always get elected.
In both the 2022 Castlegar mayoral and council races, the candidate that spent the most — lost.
Elections BC has now released the candidate financial disclosure statements for last fall’s election. The statements detail how the candidates spent their money and who it came from.
The council candidate with the highest campaign expenditures was the only unsuccessful candidate, Florio Vassilakakis at $1705. Second and third were Shirley Falstead ($1585) and Brian Bogle ($1561) with very similar amounts. The remaining candidates spent much less: Cherryl MacLeod spent $975, Sue Heaton-Sherstibitoff spent $611, Darcy Bell spent $515. Sandy Bojechko reported spending no money on her campaign whatsoever.
In the mayoral race, winner Maria McFaddin spent $950 and Lawrence Chernoff spent $1287. McFaddin won by just five votes.
That averages out to about $1000 per 2022 candidate.
None of the candidates came anywhere near the regulated spending limits of $10,798 for mayor seats and $5399 for council seats. With all but one council candidate guaranteed to win, motivation to spend on advertising seemed to be lacking during the election with only a few of the candidates reporting any advertising expenditures.
All but two of the candidates were entirely self financed. Vassilakakis received $300 from an individual and McFaddin received all of her campaign money from an individual.
The final vote count for the six council spots was: Brian Bogle (1478 votes), Darcy Bell (1233), Cherryl MacLeod (1119), Shirley Falstead (1112), Sue Heaton-Sherstibitoff (1097), Sandy Bojechko (1025) and Florio Vassilakakis (916).
Candidates spent less than previous elections
Candidates in the 2022 Castlegar municipal election spent significantly less that candidates in other recent local elections.
In the 2021 byelection the winner, Brian Bogle, spent $2054. The highest spender was Heather fancy at $2353. Sandy Bojechko spent $1209 and Shirley Falstead spent $612.
On the mayoral side of the 2021 byelection, the big spender was Florio Vassillakakis at $10,622 while winner Kirk Duff and Gord Lamont each spent about $5400 and Gord Zaitsoff spent $1720.
That’s an average of $3710 per byelection candidate.
In the 2018 election, all but one successful council candidate spent more than $2000 with the high spender, Florio Vassalikakis once again, coming in at $4669. The three mayoral candidates each spent between $2000 – $3000.
In 2016 there was another byelection for one council seat with the winner spending $5751 and the runner up spending $4376. In that election, the order of candidate spending lined up identical to the order of votes received.
In the 2014 municipal election most of the successful candidates spent at least $2000 and the highest spender came in at almost $5000.
Financial disclosures can be found on the Elections BC website.
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