Gord Zaitsoff spent more than twice as much money as Lawrence Chernoff in his unsuccessful campaign for mayor of Castlegar last fall.
Financial disclosure statements for the 2014 local government elections were released Monday by Elections BC.
Candidates were required to disclose the amount they raised and expended on their campaigns within 90 days of the election. Individual donations of $100 or more must be listed as well.
This was the first time Elections BC posted all of the financial information online.
In Castlegar’s two-man race for mayor, Zaitsoff spent $3,324. Chernoff spent $1,787, in an entirely self-funded campaign.
Despite spending half of what Zaitsoff put forward, Chernoff beat his competitor with 1,486 votes to 832.
Zaitsoff saw contributions in the form of $200 from former mayor Mike O’Connor and Castlegar Realty. Anderson Insurance provided $250.
Both sides poured money into advertising in both print media along with signs and billboards. Chernoff spent $812 on print and $556 on signs, etc.
Zaitsoff spent $1,286 and $2,038 respectively.
The gap in expenditures between the two was wider when looking at Chernoff’s radio advertising budget. While Zaitsoff did not spend anything on radio, Chernoff expended $418.
In response to the monetary gap in the two contenders campaigns, Chernoff said, “I don’t think it’s all about the money.”
He believed his victory had a large part to do with his contributions as mayor the previous nine years.
Chernoff also explained his reasoning behind funding his own campaign.
“The obligation isn’t to anybody out there. People realize the mayor sits in a position to be non-biased and equal to everyone out there.”
By funding his own campaign, he said he keeps any outside bias from entering his election run.
With the exception of one small break, Chernoff has been a part of Castlegar’s political scene since 1987 when he was made a councillor for the City.
Chernoff’s disclosure statement can be viewed at: contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/lepublished/100122838.pdf and Zaitsoff’s at contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/lepublished/100123300.pdf
For Castlegar city council it didn’t all come down to how much money was spent, however it certainly helped some.
Bruno Tassone, who topped the polls, also spent the most, $4,846. His vote tally was 1,346.
Dan Rye placed second in the results with 1,324 votes and spent $2,250. Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff was fourth, spending $1,740 and earning 1,248 votes. Fifth was Florio Vassilakakis, whose expenses totaled $3,077. He received 1,238 votes. Kevin Chernoff was sixth with 1,186 votes. He spent $2,383.
While the other remaining candidates who did not get voted in for this term did not spend as much — excluding John Phillips who put forward $2,206 — Deb McIntosh placed third with 1,314 votes while only spending $250.
The unsuccessful candidates were as follows:
• Dave Grantham’s spending perfectly predicted his vote total: he expended $1,132 and received exactly 1,132 votes.
• Tyler Maddocks finished with 966 votes after spending $238.
• Kere MacGregor received 1,109 votes after spending $550.
• Phillips received the fewest votes with 710.
In a second loss for Gordon Zaitsoff, the incumbent was knocked out of his seat as director for Area J by Rick Smith.
Zaitsoff’s report states he did not spend any money on his Area J run, while Smith spent $1,042. Smith won by 151 votes, 353 to 202.
In Area I, Andy Davidoff was acclaimed.