Red Deer city council campaign finances released

Amount council candidates spent on their bids varies widely

Coun. Frank Wong ran one lean election campaign.

The five-term councillor’s frugal election campaign cost $257.24, according to a report on campaign contributions and expenses from last October’s municipal elections. It was covered by the same amount in campaign contributions, including $58.24 worth of interest and self-contributions.

That works out to a very efficient 24 votes per $1 spent for the council veteran.

Wong said he has always tried to keep expenses to a minimum.

“I think this is the third time I won the lowest,” he said on Tuesday.

“I decided to run at the last minute and I had my 38 signs left from last time,” he said. “I didn’t buy any signs.”

Wong said he has always told his supporters to keep their donations to double digits.

One donor wanted to give him $1,000. He said he would accept only double digit donations.

“He said $1,000 or nothing. I said, ‘Ok, nothing,’ he recalled with a chuckle.

Disclosure of expenses and contributions, except for those who entirely self-fund their campaign, is required under the Local Authorities Election Act.

Related:

Election cost

Three-term Coun. Dianne Wyntjes spent the most on her successful campaign with $13,532.01 reported, including $9,277.01 in interest and self-contributions.

Mayor Tara Veer spent $10,515.65 on her campaign, defeating political newcomer Sean Burke. His campaign was self-funded so no tallies are available.

Veer raised $10,550 through campaign contributions, leaving her with a $34.35 surplus. Under the Election Act, surpluses are submitted to the city and held in trust until the next election.

If Veer was not to run next time, the surplus and interest can either be directed to a registered charity or it becomes the property of the city.

Among the other councillors, Lawrence Lee’s campaign spent the second highest amount among councillors at $10,543.60, including $2,643 in self-contributions.

Other council campaign expenses include:

  • Vesna Higham — $8,839.84, including $8,639.84 in self-contributions
  • Michael Dawe — $8,363.71, including $4,232.17 in self-contributions
  • Ken Johnston — $6,741.39, including $1,129.39 in self-contributions
  • Buck Buchanan — $500, all self-contributed
  • Tanya Handley — self-funded


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