Zimmer, Doherty top spenders in election campaign

Conservative MP colleagues Bob Zimmer and Todd Doherty outspent and outraised their competition both during and in the run-up to the 2015 federal election.

Both spent more than $70,000 on election activities, according to Elections Canada data. The incumbent Zimmer outpaced his counterpart - and Cariboo-Prince George first time representative - by an additional $30,000 for a grand total of $100,542.

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Doherty's tally was more than double second-place Tracy Calogheros, who spent $28,419 and took 31.5 per cent of the riding's vote for the Liberals. Doherty made gold with blue with 36.6 per cent of the region's voting members.

In Zimmer's riding, Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, the comparison is not complete as neither Liberal Matt Shaw or NDP's Kathi Dickie have their expenses publicly available online.

They lagged far behind Zimmer - who nabbed half of the electorate - with 24.9 per cent and 15.5 per cent, respectively.

Doherty raised $161,119, three times Calogheros' $50,053.29 and more than two times NDP Trent Derrick's $71,999.

After spending $60,383 Derrick took third place in ballots, with 25.8 per cent of the vote. He also reported the most contributors to his campaign, with 402 compared to Doherty's 32, Calogheros' 17 and Zimmer's 63.

Each dedicated most of their funds on advertising, with Doherty's $46,304 again doubling Calogheros in that department. Doherty had the advantage with voter calling, assigning $6,120 to that duty, while the others chose not to use the service.

Derrick spent the most on office expenses with $12,481 for three offices located in Prince George, Williams Lake and Quesnel.

Both Doherty and Derrick reported salaried staff, whereas Calogheros had none.

Zimmer spent more but raised less than Doherty, with $147,120 in contributions and transfers, $80,000 of which was from associations. More than half was for advertising and he spent a further $17,779 on office costs and $16,425 on a voter calling service.

Zimmer and Doherty each recorded more than $6,000 in personal expenses, which don't count against the Elections Canada cap.

Both Zimmer and Doherty had expenditures not subject to the Elections Canada limit - or as it says "incurred outside the contest period" - of $11,390 and $22,061, respectively.

The spending limit for both ridings was just above $250,000. None of the candidates came close to pushing past those parameters, though Zimmer was the leader in that regard, filling 38.6 per cent of his spending limit.

Among the fringe candidates Independent for Cariboo-Prince George, Sheldon Clare, spent about $13,000 and raised about $15,000 (from 68 contributors), while the others who made a blip on the ballot spent less than $5,000.

A Canadian Press analysis found that on average Conservative candidates spent $90,665, outpacing the average $71,660 spent by Liberals. The average New Democrat candidate spent just $54,404 while the average Green spent only $12,642.

That could help explain why the marathon 11-week campaign came down to a battle between the better-resourced Liberals and Conservatives, with the NDP and Greens squeezed out, it said.

The data has not yet been reviewed by Elections Canada, which its website notes may include updates and minor corrections to the original return submitted by candidates.

 

-- Prince George Citizen

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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