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Money alone won’t get you elected in the Central Okanagan

February 06, 2019 - 5:00 PM

KELOWNA - Money may buy happiness but it’s no guarantee of winning elected office in the Central Okanagan’s four municipalities.

While most candidates seem to think some spending is necessary, campaign disclosure reports from Elections B.C. show some big spenders didn’t make the cut.

They also showed that the bigger the city, the more candidates spend.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran topped the spending list at $76,585, about $200 below the spending limit.

Seven of eight incumbent city councillors were re-elected, spending between $3,451 (Charlie Hodge) and $16,583 (Brad Sieben) on their campaigns. For Sieben, that was a huge drop from what he spent to get elected for the first time in 2014 when he put out $34,695, finishing third in the polls and ahead of all other newcomers. This time he fell to fourth.

The order of finish amongst those elected did not follow any pattern.

Newcomer Loyal Wooldridge ($18,605) was the biggest spender in Kelowna amongst those who got elected but was outspent by about $200 by Amarjit Singh Lalli, who finished 11th. The other big spender of the also-rans was Gordon Lovegrove whose $14,872 left him about 1,600 votes behind Wooldridge for the last seat on council.

Moving to West Kelowna, Gord Milsom spent $25,162 to become that city’s new mayor while his rival, Mary Mandarino only put $675 on the line.

While it cost an average of $10,360 to get elected to Kelowna City Council, it only cost an average of $3,566 in West Kelowna.

Stephen Johnston topped both the polls and the spending amongst those elected ($5,301) but Rusty Ensign was the biggest spender at $9,712. The incumbent still finished 10th out of those running for the six-seat council.

Incumbent Rosalind Neis, on the other hand, didn’t spend a cent and missed getting elected by 23 votes.

Moving to Lake Country, Mayor James Baker spent $2,132 to get re-elected against contender Barry Rhodes, who put out $836.

Council candidates spent a maximum of $1,202 (Bill Scarrow).

In Peachland, Incumbent Mayor Cindy Fortin won her job back by having her name pulled from a hat when she finished tied with Harry Gough. Fortin spent almost twice as much as Gough on the campaign at $2,408. But Eric Hall, who finished third, outspent them both at $2,992.

But the big spender in Peachland was Rick Ingram whose $5,693 left him in seventh and out of council by 23 votes. Terry Condon finished third and Mike Kent sixth. Neither man reported spending anything at all on their campaigns.

Below is a listing of mayor and councillor spending in order of finish in each municipality.

Mayor – Elected

Colin Basran  $76,585

Mayor – Not Elected
Tom Dyas  $36,006
Bobby Kennedy $14,503
Bob Schewe  $3,485

Councillor – Elected
Maxine DeHart $6,076
Gail Given  $10,703
Luke Stack  $3,990
Brad Sieben  $16,583
Mohini Singh  $11,877
Charlie Hodge $3,451
Ryan Donn  $11,602
Loyal Wooldridge $18,605

Councillor – Not Elected
Gordon Lovegrove $14,872
Graham James $2,602
Amarjit Singh Lalli $18,830
Dustin Sargent $7,671
Lindsay Bell  $628
Craig Hostland $422
Mark Boyer  $6,883
Kevin Bond  0
Jeff Piattelli  $379
Wayne Carson $68
Mo Rajabally  $57
Greg Dahms  $567
Stef Van Meeteren 0

Mayor – Elected

Gord Milsom  $25,162

Mayor – Not Elected
Mary Mandarino $675

Councillor – Elected
Stephen Johnston $5,301
Jayson Zilkie  $5,098
Rick de Jong  $4,092
Doug Findlater $3,552
Carol Zanon  $1,699
Jason Friesen  $1,651

Councillor – Not Elected
Rosalind Neis  0
Philip Akins  $2,133
Gordon Wiebe $6,736
Rusty Ensign  $9,712
Bryden Winsby $2,346
Brad Dobbin  $2,566
Winston Wammer $6,695
Joe Gluska  $2,620
Tiffany Pare  $741
Jerome Chung $293

Mayor – Elected

James Baker  $2,132

Mayor – Not Elected
Barry Rhodes  $836

Councillor – Elected
Penny Gambell $691
Bill Scarrow  $1,202
Cara Reed  $927
Todd McKenzie $490

Councillor – Not Elected
Oscar Barnes  0
Jeanette Lambert $798
Justin Neufeld 0

Mayor – Elected

Cindy Fortin   $2,408

Mayor – Not Elected
Harry Gough  $1,345
Eric Hall  $2,992
Keith Thom  $339
Bob Henderson 0

Councillor – Elected
Patrick Van Minsel $3,222
Pete Coolio  $1,315
Terry Condon  0
Pam Cunningham $357
Keith Fielding  $932
Mike Kent  0

Councillor – Not Elected
Rick Ingram  $5,693
Karen Mustard $785
Leanne Sarsons 0
Mario Vucinovic $567
Andrew Kwaczinski $122

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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