Ben Stewart collects campaign signs following the May 14 provincial election. Information released by Elections BC shows Stewart spent $67,424 during the campaign in Westside-Kelowna.
That's how much Stewart, the former Liberal MLA for Westside-Kelowna, spent on his successful campaign to win a second term in the May 14 provincial election.
Just a few weeks later, Stewart announced he was stepping down to trigger a byelection in the riding, a contest won in early July by Liberal Premier Christy Clark.
Elections BC has now released detailed information on all candidates' contributions and expenses. The top spender in the three Kelowna-area ridings in May was Liberal MLA Steve Thomson, whose campaign cost $76,268 in the riding of Kelowna-Mission.
At the extreme opposite end of the spending scale locally was Gary Adams of the Green party, whose campaign expenses were listed at just $400.
The financial disclosures also reveal the local NDP candidates had significantly more money to spend on their campaigns than they did in the 2009 election.
Collectively, the three local NDP campaigns had budgets of $114,000, nearly double the $65,000 the party spent on the three ridings in the 2009 election.
In Westside-Kelowna, the NDP's election spending jumped from $26,000 to more than $38,000.
"We raised more money for this campaign locally than we ever did before," riding association president Karen Abramsen said Wednesday.
"We had a great candidate in Carole (Gordon)," Abramsen said. "She really worked her butt off, and we had a lot of successful fundraisers."
The NDP was even flusher with cash in Kelowna-Lake Country, where candidate Mike Nuyens' campaign budget was $51,000, far above the $18,000 the party spent in that riding in 2009.
The NDP's deeper pockets in the Kelowna ridings reflects the success the party had provincewide in raising money.
Widely expected to win the election, the NDP collected $9.3 million from all donors, more than the $8.3 million raised by the Liberals.
However, in the Kelowna area, long a bastion of support for centre-right parties, the Liberals still easily raised more money than the NDP.
Stewart, Thomson and Norm Letnick, in Kelowna-Lake Country, collectively had campaign budgets of $216,000, or almost double the NDP's local total.
For the NDP and Liberal candidates, the vast majority of campaign contributions came from fundraisers, in-kind donations or cash transfers from their respective parties.
One curiosity of the campaign spending information was how willing two local BC Conservatives were to use their own money in ill-fated bids to get elected.
Mike McLoughlin's information shows his campaign expenses in the riding of Kelowna-Mission were $28,400, of which $17,000 was his own money.
As well, Graeme James, in Kelowna-Lake Country, spent $13,000 of his own funds on his campaign, which had total expenses of $17,000.
Both men finished third in their respective ridings, well behind the victorious Liberals and the second-place NDP candidates.