Community First Langford spent over two-and-a-half-times more than its rival Langford Now during October’s municipal election, according to election disclosure statements released by Elections BC.
And yet the party still got swept out of office.
Community First Langford, led by former Mayor Stew Young and a group comprised mostly of incumbent candidates, raked in $142,645 in election donations (plus $1,296.13 in a pre-election surplus from former Coun. Matt Sahlstrom), spending $143,108.26 in total during the election.
Almost all of the money came from donations exceeding $100, with most of those being for the maximum allowed by Elections BC, $1,250.
Whereas all the other candidates in the field combined (including Langford Now and independent candidates) spent just more than half that figure, $80,618.20.
Langford’s newly elected Mayor Scott Goodmanson had the second least financial might, receiving $4,050 in donations and spending $4,148.45 during the election (incumbent Coun. Lillian Szpak, who was re-elected, was the only candidate to spend less than Goodmanson, spending $3,522.53, all of which was received through donations).
Langford Now had $24,139.34 of income declared as a slate, $18,942.98 of which was donated and the other $5,196.36 came from the sale of t-shirts, lawn signs, and ticket sales for rallies the electoral organization held. That does not include the money each individual candidate received.
In total all five candidates – Kimberly Guiry, Colby Harder, Mark Morley, Mary Wagner and Keith Yacucha – received $23,039.13 and spent $30,239. Guiry received $3,859 and spent $4,071.64. Harder received $5,209.05 and spent $10,602.86. Morley received $2,388.25 and spent $3,701.53. Wagner got $8,157.83 and spent $7,784.24. Yacucha was donated $3,425.00 and spent $4,078.73.
The majority of the donations were for amounts larger than $100, but a bigger proportion of the money came from donations for less than $100 than compared to Community First. The range was wide for each candidate, peaking at 29 per cent of the donated money coming from donations of less than $100 for Harder, to 10 per cent for Yacucha. Twenty-four per cent of donations directly to the Langford Now slate were for amounts less than $100.
In total – including the candidates’ incomes – Langford Now received $47,178.47 and spent $56,747.57.
The election results were a surprise to many, particularly in the mayoral race, with many assuming Young would continue in the role he’d held for nearly three decades.
“Development was the ballot issue, especially in the West Shore and in North Saanich as well,” David Black, a political communications professor at Royal Roads University, said in a previous interview with Black Press Media.
Usually incumbents are more than 40 per cent more likely to get re-elected just by being the incumbent, but councillors usually benefit more from the incumbency effect than mayors.
“The incumbent mayor can often find him or herself on the wrong side of whatever emerges as a kind of key ballot question – (which was) development this cycle.”
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BC Election 2022City of LangfordLangfordWest Shore