Money isn’t everything.
Mayoral candidate Roger Hull outspent his opponent by nearly 30 percent in the closest-fought mayoral campaign in city history, according to the candidates’ last campaign finance filings of the year.
But spending $47,000 more than Democrat Gary McCarthy wasn’t enough to put Hull over the top. Hull lost by 89 votes out of more than 9,000 cast. In total expenses, Hull said he spent about $162,000, while McCarthy expects his final costs to be $115,000.
Both are waiting for the final bills to trickle in over the next month before they finalize those figures.
For now, Alliance Party founder Hull has officially paid out $151,457 in his 11-month campaign, according to his last post-election filing.
McCarthy spent $89,669 in his campaign, which he started late because Mayor Brian U. Stratton unexpectedly resigned when the Democrats had expected him to run for re-election. McCarthy became acting mayor in April and started fundraising at that point.
But McCarthy expects to spend more than the $25,000 he has left in his account, and Hull said he believes he will get bills for most, if not all, of the $11,000 he has left. That puts them at $115,000 and $162,000, respectively.
One of Hull’s smallest expenses was his legal team, four attorneys who took turns studying the absentee and affidavit ballots after the election was too close to call.
Four attorneys for three weeks cost Hull just $500. The Republican City Committee also contributed $500.
Attorneys Michael Cuevas and Michael Brockbank donated their time, Brockbank said, while attorneys James Walsh and Bryon McKee combined were paid $1,000.
Brockbank said the attorneys decided to work for such a small fee because they all knew Hull was out of money.
“It was just important to have representation,” Brockbank said.
McCarthy has already paid $8,500 for his attorney, and he expects one more bill.
He also expects another sizeable bill from Blue & Read, the advertising firm that designed and printed his attack ads. The first bill was nearly $40,000.
In the last two weeks, Hull spent $27,846 on campaign literature that he mailed to residents. He also spent $38,000 on television ads in the last two months before the election. McCarthy did not buy television advertising, and neither candidate bought newspaper advertising.
They both ended up spending less than their counterparts did eight years ago. In the last hotly contested mayoral race, Democrat Brian U. Stratton spent $126,788 to eke out a 312-vote victory. His challenger, Republican Peter Guidarelli, spent $193,065.
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