Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes spent a total of $70,436.71 before and during the campaign period to defeat then-incumbent Richard Atwell, who spent a total of $41,367.09 before and during the campaign, according to financial documents from Elections BC.
Mayoral candidate Rob Wickson, who finished third behind Haynes and Atwell, spent $21,978.30. A fourth candidate, David Shebib, did not file papers.
Haynes won the mayor’s office on Oct. 20, 2018 with a total of 15,312 votes, ahead of Atwell, who won 10,768 votes, Wickson, who won 5,546 votes, and Shebib, who won 324 votes.
This year’s municipal election was the first time during which candidates faced limits on their expenses during the campaign period, which ran from Sept. 22 to Oct. 20. Candidates did not face limits during the election period running from Jan. 1 to Sept. 21).
Under this limit, mayoral candidates could spend up to $70,475.20. Haynes came the closest, spending $63,564.08. He spent $6,872.63 between Jan. 1 and Sept. 21.
Atwell spent $29,102.67 during the campaign period, of which $10,064.48 counted as shared election expenses. Atwell headed United for Saanich, an election slate, whose members also included Kathleen Burton, Ian Jessop, Corey Montgomery, and Coun. Karen Harper, the only member of the slate to earn a seat.
Of notable interest appears discrepancy between Atwell’s total outflow — $41,367.09 — and inflow — $20,444.00. Atwell told the Saanich News the difference reflects in kind contributions that candidates are able to carry forward from previous campaigns like signage.
“You don’t have to raise funds for those materials,” he said. “You only have to declare them, hence there is no ‘overspending.’”
Haynes recorded an inflow of $75,337.00.
Coun. Rebecca Mersereau, who won the most votes of any candidate in Saanich and in the Greater Victoria area with 18,416 votes, received $18,138.24 in total inflows, while recording total outflows of $26,057.97.
Looking at the other winning candidates in alphabetical order, Coun. Susan Brice recorded $37,131.00 in total inflow $42.678.25 in outflows.
Coun. Judy Brownoff recorded in 12,990.84 in inflows, $21,799.67 in outflows.
Coun. Nathalie Chambers recorded $18,358.71 in inflows, $24,649.20 in outflows.
Coun. Zac de Vries recorded 11,514.81 in inflows, $16,883.79 in outflows.
Coun. Karen Harper recorded $12.821.30 in inflows, $31,057.57 in outflows.
Coun. Colin Plant recorded $22,020.00 in inflows, $32,020.40 in outflows.
Coun. Ned Taylor recorded $13,800.41 in inflows, $19,326.12 in outflows.