As this is the first council elected via a hybrid system, I thought it would be interesting to review the last campaign season. Headed into the last election, I was interested to see whether the new system would make the financial barrier to seeking city office a bit more palatable for those seeking district seats.
The results may or may not be surprising, depending on your expectations:
Clearly, there were few bargains to be found in running a district campaign. It remains to be seen whether these levels of spending were necessary, or are merely a holdover from the traditional at-large campaign mindset. Again, this was the first election under a new system and adjustments are likely.
Also of note, with few exceptions, winning district candidates overwhelmingly outspent their opponents:
[Campaign spending calculated from 4/1/21 to 11/30/21 using data from OCPF]
2 thoughts on “The Cost of Winning a Council Seat”
Many of the final numbers are not exact based on donations out of those accounts.
Our campaign donated funds to charities like, coats from above, the boys and girls club, LHS Football, and other campaigns.
When campaign funds are raised based on making a community a better place, we believed we should try to spend those funds in places that make a difference for others.
^This is a fair point. Not every dollar of campaign expenditure goes towards items like signs, mailings, door-hangers, etc. The figures were based on the raw data. It would be too time consuming (for me anyway) to examine each and every expenditure, then make a judgment call as to whether it “counts” towards the total. I would add that there is a political benefit to the campaign in making donations to other causes and candidates.
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