The candidates who spent the most campaigning during last fall’s municipal byelection received the most votes at the polls.
New Coun. Ian Paton, who got 33.89 per cent of the vote, was backed by the Delta Independent Voters’ Association (DIVA), an electoral organization which also supports Mayor Lois Jackson, Coun. Scott Hamilton, and Coun. Robert Campbell.
DIVA received $41,050 in campaign contributions for Paton from numerous donors, including $3,000 from Alpha Aviation, $2,000 from Westshore Terminals, Talisman Homes, Millenium Pacific Greenhouses, and Highmark Homes and $1,000 from Shato Holdings, among others. Many smaller donations (up to $500) were made by people and businesses in the local farming community.
DIVA’s expenses totaled $38,167.42.
Candidate Sylvia Bishop, who placed second with 27.28 per cent of the vote, received a total of $33,969.52 in campaign contributions, with the largest contributions coming from herself ($5,258.76) and CUPE B.C. ($5,900), which is listed as a campaign organizer.
She also received many small contributions from a long list of individual donors, including $100 from Delta-South MLA Vicki Huntington, $200 from Delta North MLA Guy Gentner, and $200 from the grassroots organization Save the Southlands.
The remaining candidates’ financial disclosures, in order of how they did at the polls, were as follows:
• Maria DeVries – 2,176 votes, $20,718.34 in contributions ($16,711.91 from herself), $17,799.12 in expenses.
• Sandeep Pandher – 1,590 votes, $14,025.59 contributions and expenses.
• Amy Ghuman Sara – 1,441 votes, $8,650 in contributions, $8,472.55 in expenses.
• Kathleen Higgins – 1,137 votes, $2,675 in contributions, $2,819.15 in expenses.
• Peter Harms – 164 votes, $4,182.19 in contributions and expenses (all out of pocket).
• Ray Robinson – 82 votes, zero in contributions/expenses.
It’s debatable whether the amount of money spent during an election is directly related to electoral success.
In Richmond’s last municipal election, candidate Cynthia Chen spent almost $40,000 but failed to win a seat to council, although other successful candidates had more modest budgets.
Every candidate is required to submit a campaign financing disclosure statement within 120 days of the general election. All statements are now available on the Corporation of Delta web site (visit http://elections.corp.delta.bc.ca).