Mayor Maja Tait was the biggest spender during last year’s municipal election.
Tait spent $9,856.46 to return to office in October, according to financial statements made public this week by Elections B.C.
Tait’s spending edged that of former councillor Kevin Pearson’s campaign budget of $9,335. Third-place candidate Mick Rhodes spent $304.20 on his campaign.
The majority of Tait’s budget, like most mayoral and council candidates, came from donations.
Tait’s 2018 election budget was significantly lower than when she won in 2014. At that time, Tait spent $23,884.49, but new contribution rules for last year’s election barred contributions from organizations, unions, or corporations. Donations were also limited to $1,200 per candidate from individuals and elector organizations.
Elections B.C. also capped campaign expenses for Sooke’s mayoral candidates to $13,950, while council candidates could spend up to $6,980.
The candidates who spent big were generally rewarded at the polls.
In the race for council, Megan McMath topped the expenditure list at $4,150.72. Other winners included Jeff Bateman ($3,4497.42), Al Beddows ($3,391.57), Brenda Parkinson ($3,265), Tony St.-Pierre ($967.45), and Ebony Logins ($703.34).
Meanwhile in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, incumbent Mike Hicks spent $4,876.07 to get re-elected to his fourth term, while challenger Daniel Yates had a campaign budget of $254.49.