August 20, 2013 - 3:36 PM
VERNON - Thanks to mandatory financial reporting, we now know how much candidates spent on their campaigns in the May election. In Vernon-Monashee, NDP candidate Mark Olsen ran the most expensive campaign by about $3,000.
Olsen, who came in second with 34 per cent of votes, spent a total of $74,815 throughout the course of his campaign, including the two months before the official kick-off. The largest chunk of change ($28,955) was spent on salaries and benefits, while almost $9,000 was spent on media advertising and $5,000 on signs and brochures. Olsen himself contributed over $5,000 of his own money to the campaign.
Olsen's campaign in Vernon was somewhat high compared to other NDP campaigns in the area, suggesting they believed it was a winnable riding. Compare with the $36,495 spent by Shuswap candidate Steve Gunner, or the $24,500 spent by Tish Lakes in Kelowna-Mission. It was more in the league of NDP candidates in Kamloops, where Kathy Kendall spent $76,789 and Tom Friedman spent $85,503.
Liberal MLA Eric Foster, who won the riding with 46 per cent of the votes, spent a bit less than Olsen, with $72,006.
Foster spent more on media advertising, research and polling than Olsen. He also spent considerably less on salaries and benefits than his NDP adversary, shelling out just $3,422.
The two candidates also spent vastly different amounts on social functions and thank-you parties. Olsen spent $500 in this area, while Foster spent $2,708.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013