Because I am the type of geek that I am, I decided to take a look through the financial disclosure forms of mayoral candidates for all major BC communities. By compiling a list of all campaigns with costs in excess of $40,000 I found some interesting trends.
And yes, this was driven by my desire to investigate whether or not it is common for major mayoral campaigns to be run just by volunteers – such as was the case with Ida Chong in Victoria.
So what should be read in this table? First thing to note is that I have consolidated the staffing (salaries and wages) and professional services disclosure categories** because there was some variation in candidates with respect to where they disclosed what costs. As noted above, this table contains relevant disclosure information for all BC mayoral candidates with campaign expenses in excess of $40,000.
**Please note that the disclosure categories of professional services and salaries and wages have been consolidated based on the expectation that other necessary financial and legal campaign services were required to be reported separately by candidates (see image below).
Entries for Derek Corrigan in Burnaby and the major Vancouver challengers (e.g., Kirk La Pointe, Gregor Robertson, and Meena Wong) have been removed from analyses because their campaign costs are reflected in Elector Organization Disclosure forms such as the ones filed by the Burnaby Citizen’s Association and Vision Vancouver.
I did however note that neither the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) or the Non-Partisan Association (NPA) have submitted their disclosure forms and so I assume they are being penalized by Elections BC.
There was a strong correlation (+.57) between total campaign expenses and amount of money spent on staff and professional services. This meant that the larger your campaign, the more likely it was that you had paid campaign workers. Next to Dean Fortin with campaign expenses of $121,431.92 (of which 60.39% was spent on staffing and professional services) Ida Chong had the second most expensive, non party funded municipal campaign with reported expenses of $108,120.45.
Other than Henry Braun in Abbotsford, Ida Chong in Victoria appears to be the only other Mayoral candidate with a campaign that was “purely driven by volunteers”. The Abbotsford Mayoral race was a tight one between two sitting Councillors.