Mayor John Dooley broke the bank during last year’s municipal election.
Dooley spent $11,125.38 to return to office in October, according to financial statements made public this week by Elections BC. His spending nearly doubled that of former mayor Deb Kozak’s campaign budget of $5,835. Third-place candidate Bernie Brown, meanwhile, spent nothing on her campaign.
The majority of Dooley’s budget, like most of the mayoral and council candidates, came from donations. Dooley is listed as having spent just $124.29 of his own money, but his wife Patricia also donated $1,100. Dooley, meanwhile, gathered $10,474.29 in donations.
Dooley and Kozak’s 2018 election budgets were significantly lower than they were when Kozak won in 2014. At that time, Dooley spent $14,278 compared to Kozak’s $10,350, but new contribution rules for last year’s election barred contributions from organizations, unions or corporations. Donations were also limited to $1,200 per candidate from individuals and elector organizations.
Elections BC also capped campaign expenses for Nelson’s mayoral candidates to $11,220, while council candidates could spend up to $5,610.
The candidates who spent big were generally rewarded at the polls.
Cal Renwick topped all council candidates with a budget of $4,407.73 ($1,239.12 of which was his own money) en route to his victory. Other winners included Rik Logtenberg ($3,081.34), Jesse Woodward ($2,325), Keith Page ($2,071.19), Brittny Anderson ($1,860) and incumbent Janice Morrison ($1,600).
Renwick was the lone candidate on the Coalition of Responsible Electors (CORE) slate to win.
CORE received a total of $9,165 in contributions, of which it allotted $4,673.78 to its candidates. Of those candidates, Stephanie Wiggins got $1,117.98, followed by Brian Shields with $1,092.20, Renwick with $1,048.61 ($227.41 of that was spent prior the campaign period) and $821.20 each to Michelle Hillaby and Travis Hauck.
Other council candidates included: Robin Cherbo ($2,943), Laureen Barker ($2,905), Leslie Payne ($1,184.18), Joseph Reiner ($905), Rob Richichi ($835), Bob Adams ($829.39), Margaret Stacey ($730), Robbie Kalabis ($269.52) and Charles Jeanes ($150).
Elections BC also makes public the names of individuals who donate more than $100 to candidates.
Some of those donations came from noteworthy people including: Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall ($200 to Kozak); ATCO Wood Products CEO Scott Weatherford ($1,000 to Dooley); Kalesnikoff Lumber president Ken Kalesnikoff ($700 to Dooley); Kalein Centre founder Sandi Leatherman ($1,200 to Kozak); Kalein Centre board chair Brooke Leatherman ($1,200 to Kozak); and Savoy Hotel owner Jimmy Bundschuh ($350 to Reiner).