Candidates spend a total of $69,000 during municipal election campaigns

April 25, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Alex McKinnon

Financial statements released by Town Clerk Susan Greatrix show that candidates for office in Orangeville spent over $69,000 in last October’s municipal election. 

Ranging from mayoral candidates, to council candidates and even school board trustees, the financial statements offer a look into the resources and efforts that went into each campaign. In total, 21 candidates combined to spend $69,182.

Among the three mayoral candidates, Sandy Brown outspent his two opponents, with his expenses coming in at $13,550. That amount made up almost exactly 20 percent of the total spent. The investment in last year’s campaign exceeded the amount Mr. Brown spent for an unsuccessful deputy mayoral run in 2014, when he spent just $2,101. According to his expense report, Mr. Brown spent $5,139 on advertising, $4,928 on signs and $1,520 on a website. He also fronted the bill for his celebration party at the Black Wolf Smokehouse, to the tune of $1,381. 

Darrin Davidson finished as runner-up in the mayoral race, and he spent a total of $9,302 on his campaign. Back in 2014, when he ran for councillor, Mr. Davidson spent just $2,808. According to his expense report, Mr. Davidson spent $2,384 on advertising, $1,995 on signs and $2,348 on a website.

Finishing third in voting, previous Mayor Jeremy Williams actually spent marginally less on his 2018 campaign than he did in 2014. He invested $5,322 and was the only one of the three mayoral candidates to receive no monetary donations. In 2014, Mr. Williams spent $5,340 on his successful mayoral campaign, when he defeated incumbent Rob Adams. During last year’s campaign, Mr. Williams invested in three areas – spending $1,808 on signs, $1,533 on brochures and flyers and listing $1,730 as inventory from previous campaign used in this campaign. 

The spending and fundraising habits of the two deputy mayor candidates was a little more modest. Combined, Andy Macintosh and Nick Garisto spent just over $8,000, with almost all of that amount coming out of their respective pockets. 

Andy Macintosh, who won in a landslide against Mr. Garisto, spent $3,327 on his campaign, with $1,653 for advertising, $1,000 for signs and $654 for brochures and flyers.

In what was his second deputy mayor campaign after previously serving in the role from 2000 to 2003, Mr Garisto spent $4,770 in 2018. Like the rest of the mayoral and deputy mayor candidates, Mr. Garisto’s spending was in three areas – brochures and flyers ($1,891), advertising ($1,504) and signs ($725). He also used $650 worth of inventory from a previous campaign. 

The whole gamut of council candidates also showcased the difference spending can have on a campaign. In total, the five successful candidates – Todd Taylor, Grant Peters, Debbie Sherwood, Joe Andrews and Lisa Post, spent a shade over $21,000 accumulatively on their campaigns.

In his first run for municipal office, Mr. Taylor spent almost double the amount of the next highest spender, declaring $7,908. Of that, $4,223 was spent on advertising, $1,935 on signs, $962 on brochures and flyers and $746 for various meetings. It is interesting to note that Mr. Taylor received a $200 donation from former Mayor Rob Adams, who helped serve on Mr. Taylor’s campaign team.

Next up on the top spenders list was Debbie Sherwood, who invested significantly more than during her unsuccessful run for council in 2014. Ms. Sherwood spent $4,071 in 2018, a big jump from the $2,684 spent in 2014. While she accumulated $2,669 in advertising, signage and brochure/flyer expenses, she also spent $77 on an outfit for the all candidates meeting at Orangeville District Secondary School, $144 for an election night party and $231 for three ‘thank you’ gatherings for campaign team members.

In what was her second successive run for a seat on Council, Lisa Post reported expenses of $2,089, up from the $726 she spent in 2014. She spent $283 on advertising, $519 on brochures and flyers and $402 on signs, while also fronting the $565 bill for an election night party.

Grant Peters spent $3,512 on his campaign – $1,752 for brochures and flyers, $589 for advertising and $497 for signs. He also spent $447 on food, beverages and plate rental for his election night party. 

Joe Andrews invested $3,451– $1,130 on a focused social media campaign, $1,102 on brochures and flyers, $592 on advertising and $283 on signs. 

The seven unsuccessful candidates combined to spend $12,540. Former councillor Don Kidd spent $2,844, Simran Bhamu $2,861, Trevor Castiglione $641, Robert Duthie $1,168, Vic Thapar $3,550 and Kelly Zammit $1,476. James Jackson was the only candidate who reported spending nothing.

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