Money can buy you a lot of things, but it doesn’t guarantee an election win.
John Martin learned that lesson in financially painful fashion in last fall’s provincial election. The two-term MLA ran for re-election as a B.C. Liberal candidate in the Chilliwack riding and spent a whopping $56,938.06, according to Elections B.C.
First-time candidate Dan Coulter of the B.C. NDP spent $6,211.34.
But despite being $50,726.72 behind Martin in dollars and cents, Coulter won the vote count by a margin of 7,349 to 5,102.
Diane Janzen, the B.C. Conservative candidate, finished third in the riding despite shelling out $23,357.53. Janzen received 2,910 votes.
Kelli Paddon ran a financially-efficient campaign in the Chilliwack-Kent riding, winning the election with 8,268 votes despite spending just $2,770.23.
Jason Lum, who ran as an independent and finished third with 5,370 votes, and spent $18,013.74 in the effort.
Incumbent MLA Laurie Throness, who started the campaign as a B.C. Liberal candidate and finished it as an independent, has not yet filed an election financing report.
Reports were due within 90 days of the election, which was Jan. 22, and late submissions would normally be subject to a $500 late fee.
But according to Elections BC communications director Andrew Watson, “Throness was granted an extension to the filing deadline, and as such is not required to pay a $500 late filing fee if he files by Feb. 22, 2021. Extensions are granted if there are extenuating circumstances beyond a filer’s control that prevent them from filing on time.”