Nicole Read not only earned the most votes in the 2014 election, she spent the most money in becoming mayor of Maple Ridge.
Read spent $50,867 of her own money, without taking a single donation, with $3,000 of her total campaign expense coming from her company, The History Group, and the balance made up of her own personal funds.
Her total campaign expenses are $10,000 more than runners up Michael Morden and Ernie Daykin who spent $39,330 and $29,354, respectively.
Morden was a councillor seeking to become mayor, while Daykin was trying for a third term as mayor.
“Had to unseat two incumbents,” Read explained Monday. “For me, it was an investment in the community.”
Read, who won with a total of 5,637 votes, said that her election spending evolved during the campaign and as the Nov. 15 voting day approached, more money was spent on newspaper advertising.
Elections B.C., is now in charge of the campaign financing disclosure forms and its website details all expenses and donations for those who sought a city council or school board seat in B.C.
Morden, who placed second, earning 4,825 votes, spent more than planned.
“Originally, we anticipated on spending in the early 30s [thousands], not past there.”
But in the last week, he did two rounds of electronic phone calls to every household in Maple Ridge.
That cost about $6,000 and resulted in many calls back asking for polling information.
“It wasn’t cheap,” he said.
Morden added there were two reasons he lost the election.
“We fell short in a couple areas: one – I’m not a woman.
“Nicole was the only woman in the campaign. It gives her a strategic advantage when the rest of them are men.”
Graham Mowatt and Gary Cleave were also running for mayor.
“It’s a fact of life. I don’t have an issue with it one way or the other, it’s just the way it is,” Morden said.
Read, being the only woman in the mayoralty campaign, might have resonated when people were looking for change or an alternative.
Not getting support of the labour force also hurt, Morden added.
Spending varied among other councillors. Gordy Robson, former mayor, spent only $2,000 – relying on name recognition to earn votes.
His campaign manager, Mary Robson, said they placed four road signs with fluorescent paint and used Internet and social media.
But Read, being a newcomer, said she needed to spend more.
Council veterans Craig Speirs and Bob Masse spent roughly similar amounts, $7,011 and $6,834, respectively.
However, newcomers Tyler Shymkiw spent $18,400 and Kiersten Duncan, $15,753.
Corisa Bell spent $8,988 in getting elected to a second term.
In Pitt Meadows, Mayor John Becker outspent his two rivals, spending $15,250 versus $13,159 by Michael Hayes and virtually nothing by the third mayoralty candidate, Gary Paller.
Becker contributed $12,750 of his own funds to his campaign.