Candidates rack up staggering bill in council fight
THE fight for the Gympie region’s nine council seats proved costly with more than $60,000 in campaign bills racked up by the candidates.
Dethroned mayor Mick Curran lead the way by a country mile, compiling an almost $16,000 bill in the struggle to keep his seat.
The spend was almost three-times that of winner Glen Hartwig ($5900) and five times the $2700 incurred by Tim Jerome.
Incumbent Mark McDonald was Division 1’s big spender, forking out more than $3100. Ash Little’s $3000 spend was close behind.
At Division 2 Dolly Jensen spent more than $1800, and Shane Waldock’s $2000 campaign made him the biggest spender in Division 3.
In Division 4 Rae Gate’s $4200 campaign was more than that of expected winner Bruce Devereaux, who spent about $3300.
Incumbent Dan Stewart’s $2200 expense bill was the highest in Division 5 and Hilary Smerdon’s $1800 was the most in Division 6.
Bob Leitch’s campaign to keep the Division 7 seat tallied up more than $2200 in costs, ahead of Warren Polley’s $1300 bill.
Bob Fredman’s $2000 of costs were the only ones listed for Division 8 candidates, with nothing reported from Trent Mitchell or Lyndall Ensbey.
Leonora Cox, Michiel Pratt, Terry McMullan, Chelle Dobson, Mikki Lawson and Donna Reardon were the other candidates with no expenses lodged with the ECQ.
Candidates who did not spend all of the money donated can keep it aside for another election, pay it to their political party if they are a member, or donate it to charity.