Liberal Greg Garbula (left) spent slightly less than New Democrat Michelle Mungall (centre) on the May election campaign. The Green Party's Sjeng Djerx (right) ran a much more shoestring campaign.

Mungall top spender among Nelson-Creston candidates

Nelson-Creston New Democrat Michelle Mungall spent about $48,000 on her successful re-election campaign in May’s provincial election.

Nelson-Creston New Democrat Michelle Mungall spent about $48,000 on her successful re-election campaign in May’s provincial election, according to financial disclosures released by Elections BC.

That was a bit more than runner-up Greg Garbula of the BC Liberals, who spent roughly $44,250. Garbula, however, raised by far the most of any candidate through donations. His $25,000 in contributions included 23 of $250 or more, led by $1,500 from electronics manufacturer Pacific Insight. He also received $1,000 from Jetstream Capital Corp. and several individuals.

His total war chest was about $100 more than he actually spent. (The difference between dollars raised by candidates and their overall campaign budgets is accounted for by transfers from their parties.)

Mungall’s only outside contribution over $250 was $400 from Voytech Computers. She received another $490 in smaller contributions and put up $340 personally. Her total campaign income was $52,500.

Sjeng Derkx of the Green Party, who finished third, spent about $17,750 — $5,750 more than his income. He received $350 from David Jackson and $1,375 in smaller donations.

Per vote received, Garbula spent $9.67, Mungall $5.85, and Derkx $5.24

In Kootenay West, re-elected New Democrat Katrine Conroy had about $55,000 in expenses while defeated challenger Jim Postnikoff of the Liberals posted a $30,000 tab. Conroy had the biggest budget of any candidate — $67,000 including in-kind donations — but didn’t use it all.

In Boundary Similkameen, New Democrat Sam Hancheroff spent nearly $70,000 in his unsuccessful bid, the highest total of any candidate in the three local ridings. Hancheroff also had the most expensive campaign per vote — $9.83 for each of the 7,113 ballots he received.

Liberal Linda Larson, who defeated Hancheroff, spent about $61,000.

Two candidates in Boundary Similkameen actually had more votes than dollars spent: the Green Party’s John Kwasnica was the choice of 1,602 voters with a $1,300 campaign — which worked out to 83 cents per vote.

But the most frugal campaign belonged to independent Doug Pederson in the same riding, who didn’t spend anything. He still received 375 votes.

The totals above include the campaign itself and the 60 days prior as well as other expenses outside those periods.

This story will appear in the West Kootenay Advertiser on September 5.