Creston NewsNews Contributions played a key roll for some in the 2018 elections SHARE ON: Jensen Shields, staff Wednesday, Feb. 6th, 2019 Creston Mayor Ron Toyota spent more than twice the amount on his 2018 campaign than each of his competitors, Bill Hutchinson and Mary Jayne Blackmore, according to data collected from Elections BC. Toyota’s total campaign expenses leading up to the election was $5,877, whereas Hutchinson spent $2,810, while also sharing expenses with candidate Debbie Cherkas and Councilor Ellen Tzakis. Blackmore’s $640 campaign was nearly 100 per cent self-financed opposed to Hutchinson who received $2,610 from at least nine contributors. Though Toyota spent $575 of his own money, 37 contributors financed the bulk of his successful campaign. Councilor Ellen Tzakis had 17 contributors, the most out of all the councilors. One notable contributor, Lionel Gartner, donated a total of $3,500 to candidates Bill Hutchinson, Debbie Cherkas, Ellen Tzakis, and both Karen and Keith Goforth, all of whom campaigned against the Fire Hall Referendum. Area B Director Tanya Wall financed her own victory over challenger Keith Goforth whose campaign cost him and his contributors under $3,166. It’s important to note however, that the bulk of Wall’s campaign costs were from last election’s signs valued at $1,500, making the actual cost $343. Compared to his competitors in Area C, Director Adam Casemore spent the least amount at just over $560. With the help of his contributors, Mayor Ron Toyota spent under $495 on new signs and billboards while reusing $947 worth of old signs. He spent $1,135 on radio, $1,897 on newspaper advertising and $927 on brochures, pamphlets and flyers. Toyota also had a campaign office which cost $750 to rent. This eclipsed challenger Bill Hutchinson’s budget which allocated $510 for new signs and billboards, $568 on pamphlets and flyers, $220 on radio and $147 on newspaper ads. Billboards and signs were the most common means for exposure, with costs that rose higher than $1,200 for Ellen Tzakis, Karen Goforth and Area C candidate Keith Goforth. The average investment for all councilor and director candidates hovered around $500. The only way to have won and spent no money whatsoever on advertising was to be as lucky as Area A Director Garry Jackman, who simply won by acclamation.