Sampson biggest spender in council election race

The candidate who received the second highest number of votes in the race for a seat on city council was the biggest spender in last fall's elections.

In the process of drawing 8,304 votes - second only to Brian Skakun's 9,475 - Kyle Sampson ran up $22,107.34 in expenses according to reports released this week by Elections BC.

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The total is just under the $22,988.48 limit candidates could spend during the election period and made Sampson's campaign by far and away the most expensive. Frank Everitt's was the second priciest at $13,359.99 while Skakun, a long-time incumbent, spent just $4,550.

Along with the limit on how much they could spend, candidates were prevented from accepting donations from businesses and unions while contributions from individuals were limited to $1,200 per person.

That didn't stop Sampson from generating $20,007.75 from 40 different supporters.

As a first-time candidate, Sampson said he wanted to get his name known among voters and the financial support he received was instrumental. He launched his campaign well before the election period officially started and with plenty of flash as the manager at Pacific Western Brewing put his skills as a marketer and promoter to use.

"Without the support that we received, we wouldn't have been able to run that campaign and it's hard to say but perhaps might have not been successful on election day," Sampson said. "But the placing we held at the end of the day was, I think, a spectacular representation of the campaign we had and the faith people had in me, so very grateful for that."

Among Sampson's biggest supporters were Selen and Anita Alpay, Maria De Sousa and Drew Doig, who contributed $1,200 each. Robert Elliott, Christopher Holmes and Amanda Chandler each donated $1,000 and John Brink provided $950 spread over two donations.

The new limits are "probably a good thing," Sampson said, in the sense that a candidate is not able to rely on "one rich friend."

"You're getting support from more people to run a campaign you need to run, which is recognizing perhaps the end support that you'll have at the poll," he said.

Among the successful candidates, Garth Frizzell's campaign is listed as the least costly at $2,994.73.

However, in contrast to others who ran in past elections, the value of reused signs is not included in Frizzell's expenses. Reached Friday, Frizzell said the signs he used were pulled out of storage from the 2014 campaign. He spent $3,261.81 on signs and billboards during that campaign, according to Elections BC records but maintained the signs are effectively worthless now.

"I don't see a value on that, certainly there was no market value, and the depreciation after four years," he said. "Ultimately, it's up to the Elections BC folks but if I made a mistake then absolutely I'd go back and fix and amend."

In terms of bang for the buck, Frizzell's campaign was also the least expensive among those who were elected at 37 cents per vote ($2,994.73; 8199 votes), followed by Brian Skakun's at 48 cents ($4,550; 9,475 votes), Cori Ramsay's at 68 cents ($3,879.39; 5,693 votes) Murry Krause's at 78 cents ($6,222.94; 8,008 votes), Susan Scott's at $1.50 ($11,685.86; 7,775 votes), Terri McConnachie's at $1.84 ($13,078.38; 7,111 votes), Frank Everitt's at $2 ($13,359.99; 6,680 votes), and Sampson's at $2.62 ($22,107.34; 8,304 votes).

Re-elected mayor Lyn Hall spent $6,613.65 while challenger Willy Ens spent zero.

Documents for all council candidates are posted at Elections BC.


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