What a difference a competitor makes.
Campaign finance disclosure papers from the Nov. 19 municipal election were released this week, showing that Saanich mayor Frank Leonard spent nearly six times more to get elected in 2011 than he did in 2008.
Leonard spent $62,061, according to his disclosure statements. He spent $10,095 in 2008 when his competition was a relatively low-profile candidate.
“We knew we had to run a traditional campaign (this time),” Leonard said. “We had lots of notice that a political veteran, backed by MLAs and MPs, would be running.”
That veteran, a former NDP MLA and Saanich councillor, was David Cubberley. He spent $46,252 on his unsuccessful mayoral campaign.
Leonard, elected in November to his sixth term as mayor, says this is by far the most he’s ever spent on an election campaign. In 1996 he spent just over $20,000.
“We were under budget. We knew were going to have a standalone campaign. We budgeted for $65,000,” he said. “We knew the components of a basic campaign with a population our size – these sorts of dollars were spent in siimilar campaigns in similar cities.”
While Leonard and his wife, former councillor Jackie Ngai, contributed $300 toward his campaign, it was a very different story for Cubberley, who spent $13,000 of his own money.
Cubberley received contributions from a number of sitting politicians, including MLAs Lana Popham ($500), Rob Fleming ($250) and Leonard Krog ($150), and MP Denise Savoie ($200).
Apart from his own contributions, his largest donation came in the form of $3,000 from the Victoria Labour Council.
The single-largest contribution to Leonard’s campaign ($4,546) came from Tone Fat Entreprises Ltd., which operates the Golden City Restaurant in Victoria.
The two mayoral candidates took two clearly different approaches to getting their names out during the campaign.
Advertising was Leonard’s single greatest expense ($25,484), while Cubberley spent $9,108 on print, radio, TV and electronic ads.
Cubberley, however, spent most of his budget ($18,234) posting signs, and printing pamphlets and brochures. By comparison, Leonard spent $8,279 on printing.
“It all comes down to money,” Cubberley said, adding that if he had been able to match Leonard “dollar for dollar, we would’ve gotten him.”
When all the dust settled on election night, and Leonard was declared the victor, his campaign had spent about $5.57 per vote. Cubberley’s campaign spent $4.86.
The third mayoral candidate, David Shebib, spent no money on his campaign – and received 173 votes.
As far as councillors, campaign spending ranged from a meagre $5.59 for Ingrid Ip, who earned 3,999 votes and came in last out of 12 candidates, to $13,082.67 for Rob Wickson, who came in ninth – 1,636 votes shy of a council seat.
Wickson put $13,116 of his own money into his unsuccessful campaign (his election contributions totalled more than his expenses).
Campaign finance disclosure statements were due to Saanich’s chief elections officer by 4:30 p.m. on Monday (March 19). At the *News’ deadline, four candidates had not yet filed their papers.
David Cubberley- $42,252.58
*Frank Leonard- $62,061.40
David Shebib- $0
*Susan Brice- $10,457.28
*Judy Brownoff- $10,925.64
*Vic Derman- Outstanding
*Paul Gerrard- $10,184.79
Ingrid Ip- $5.59
Jesse McClinton- $807.52
*Dean Murdock- $11,337.83
*Vicki Sanders- Outstanding
*Nichola Wade- $9,413.03
*Leif Wergeland- $10,188.92
Rob Wickson- $13,082.67
Harald Wolf- Outstanding