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HomeBusinessBC Liberals spent heavily to keep Surrey South seat 

BC Liberals spent heavily to keep Surrey South seat 

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Bob Mackin

BC Liberal Elenore Sturko spent $142,635.40 to win the South Surrey by-election. 

In Elections BC returns published Dec. 15, Sturko used $62,170.25 during the official campaign period leading up to the Sept. 10 by-election, in which she won the seat with 5,568 votes.

Kevin Falcon campaigning with Elenore Stark (BC Liberals/Twitter)

Earlier this month, BC Liberal leader Kevin Falcon appointed Sturko the shadow minister for mental health, addiction, recovery and education.

Pauline Greaves, the NDP runner-up, had 3,221 votes in the race to replace BC Liberal Stephanie Cadieux, who quit politics in April to become the first federal accessibility commissioner. 

Former Surrey RCMP public information officer Sturko also reported $80,215.15 in expenses outside the official campaign period, a quarter of which was for advertising. 

The biggest cost was $34,830.59 in office rent. Sturko was nominated in May and began campaigning shortly afterward, but Premier John Horgan waited until Aug. 13 to call the by-election. 

Of the $42,603.61 in Sturko campaign period advertising expenses, the biggest line items were commercial canvassing ($14,901.90), social media ads ($9,246.03) and lawn signs ($8,028.89). 

Motiontide Media was the biggest advertising supplier at $11,513.53. The Vancouver Island company handled digital advertising for the Vancouver-Quilchena constituency office of former BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson.

Yorkville Strategies, a polling company run by backroom strategist Dimitri Pantazopoulos, billed $4,481.49 for work on Sturko’s campaign. 

The Greaves filing said the NDP campaign raised $82,954.97, of which the candidate spent $54,889.93 during the campaign period and sought $29,282.47 for reimbursement. 

Greaves spent $25,680.32 on salaries and benefits and $17,271.81 on advertising. Desmond Pollard, who was an aide to NDP environment minister George Heyman, billed $6,867.34 for salary and expenses. 

Third-place B.C. Conservative candidate Harman Bhangu spent $34,886.58, including $13,145.28 on ads. 

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