Team Okanagan spent more than three times as much as other candidates combined to win May election

Team Okanagan is made up of B.C. Liberals Christy Clark of Kelowna-West, Norm Letnick of Kelowna-Lake Country and Steve Thomson of Kelowna-Mission. They spent a combined $270,000 to win in all three ridings during the 2017 Provincial Election in May.
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KELOWNA – It cost the three B.C. Liberal candidates more than $270,000 to sweep the three Kelowna ridings during the Provincial election in May, according to recently released documents.

Election spending for the six B.C. NDP and B.C. Green candidates amounted to roughly $75,000.

Then-premier and MLA Christy Clark may not have spent much time campaigning in her riding of Kelowna-West before her election, but she certainly spent money.

Clark spent more than $80,000 to beat NDP candidate Shelley Cook and Robert Mellalieu of the Green Party. Clark spent more than $25,000 on media advertising, $14,000 on signs and brochures, close to $10,000 on research and polling and more than $3,700 on social functions.

Cook spent a little over $22,000, with $2,500 going towards media advertising and more than $7,000 on signs and brochures. Green Party candidate Robert Mellalieu spent only $1,400 on the election, with $620 going towards signs and $290 to media advertising.

B.C. Liberal Steve Thomson spent even more than Clark, close to $95,000, for 55.36 per cent of the vote. Runner up Harwinder Sandhu with the NDP spent $18,500.

Thomson spent more than $26,000 on media advertising, $12,000 on signs and brochures, $8,000 on office rent, $15,000 on professional services, $11,000 on research and polling and $4,000 on social functions.

The largest expenses for Sandhu were signs and brochures at $5,700 and $5,000 in salaries and benefits Green candidate Rainer Wilkins spent only $352, which he spent on his nomination deposit and bank charges.

The B.C. Liberal candidates also outspent their opposition in the riding of Kelowna-Lake Country where Norm Letnick won his third straight provincial election with a convincing 59.12 per cent of the vote.

It didn’t come cheap though.

Letnick spent $96,000, including $35,000 in media advertising, $10,000 in signs and brochures, $4,000 in rent, $10,300 on research and polling and $4,000 on social functions.

NDP candidate Erik Olesen spent only $10,000 for his share of the votes, with most of the money going towards signs and brochures.

Alison Shaw of the B.C. Green Party spent $22,763, more than twice as much as Oleson, but it appears to have paid off.

Olesen took 20.61 per cent of the votes, barely beating Shaw who finished within half a per cent of Olesen. 

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