B.C. Liberal Ben Stewart (left) outspent his Kelowna West byelection opponents Kyle Geronazzo (Libertarian), Shelley Cook (NDP), Robert Stupka (B.C. Green) and Mark Thompson (B.C. Conservative) by a large margin in the February vote. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Big spending Ben

B.C. Liberal Ben Stewart far outspent all his opponents in the February Kelowna West byelection

It cost Kelowna West B.C. Liberal MLA Ben Stewart $87,789 to win back the seat he gave up in 2013.

According to figures released by Elections B.C, Stewart outspent his four opponents by a large margin in the byelection held Feb. 14 to replace former premier and Liberal party leader Christy Clark.

Stewart’s closest challenger, NDP candidate Shelley Cook, spent $49,337 of the $51,907 her campaign took in. Stewart spent all the money his campaign raised.

But Cook’s total was not the second highest in the race.

Green Party candidate Robert Stupka outspent Cook according to the financial disclosure documents each candidate had to file following the byelection.

Stupka spent $50,483 of the $59,204 his campaign raised but finished a distant third in the vote.

The largest spending area for all three was advertising, sins and brochures, with Stewart spending a total of $27,918.58, Stupka spending $24,965 and Cook spending $20,222.

In addition, both Stewart and Cook spend heavily on wages for campaign workers—$14,838 by Cook and $12,826 by Stewart. Stupka’s disclosure forms did not list any payments for wages.

The two other candidates in the race—who finished fourth and fifth respectively with only a fraction of the vote each— Conservative Mark Thompson and Libertarian Kyle Geronazzo spend far less than the other three on their campaigns.

Thompson spent $5,368, while Geronazza spent $250.

For Stewart, the byelection win was a return to the provincial political stage.

Shortly after the 2013 B.C. election, he gave up the then Westside-Kelowna seat he had held for the B.C. Liberals since 2009 so Clark, who lost her Vancouver-area seat in that vote, could run in the Okanagan. She easily won the subsequent byelection.

In 2017 she retained the seat—now called Kelowna West—beating Cook. Clark quit politics last summer after her minority government was defeated in the B.C. Legislature.

Under Election B.C. rules, candidates were allowed to spend $58,000 on their campaigns and their parties were allowed to spend the same amount in addition.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Three vehicle ‘sandwich’ crash delays traffic in Rutland

An accident at the McCurdy and Mayfair Road intersection was reported just before 4:30 p.m.

A BBQ thank you at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

The ninth annual Well Done BBQ brought Kelowna together

Two West Kelowna residents were arrested for alleged drug trafficking

RCMP executed a search warrant at a Chieftain Road home

Two Kelowna sites rezoned for pot shops

Cannabis retailers closer to reality for Lawrence Avenue, St. Paul Street

Vernon senior feels trapped in long-term care facility

Rose-Marie Lepodvin says she wants assisted living, but feels trapped in long-term care

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

South Okanagan mountain resort sees lengthy snowfall

Snow stayed on the ground for four, says resort manager

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Interior forestry workers ratify five-year contract

It was approved by United Steelworkers Local 1-417, which represents workers in Kamloops, Kelowna

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

Most Read