A father and son who urged Hamilton voters to elect "two generations" on to council were the city's big spenders at this year's local government elections.
Campaign expenses and donations for mayoral and city council candidates were released by electoral officer Jude Pani yesterday.
The figures showed Andrew and Josh King spent $28,181 each vying for a seat on council - $11,600 more than the next biggest campaign spend.
Mr King senior said that, despite son Josh not winning a seat, the collective $56,362 was money well spent.
"We got the results we wanted from the money we spent and I feel we ran a very good campaign," he said.
The campaign spending limit for Hamilton's west and east wards is $40,000.
Mr King, a city finance company boss, said the campaign race was a good father-son experience but he was unsure if his son would run for council again.
"It's very difficult for a new person to come in and get voted on.
"The name recognition isn't as strong as those that have a seat and, if you're coming in as an outsider, you've really got to put everything into it unless you're very well-known already."
The next biggest spenders were Margaret Forsyth ($16,531), who finished top of the polls in Hamilton East, and Ewan Wilson ($14,525) who came second in the Hamilton West ward behind Martin Gallagher.
Mr Gallagher received the most donations of any council candidate, thanks to $3000 from the Gallagher Group and $2000 from MR Gallagher.
Angela O'Leary's declaration form showed a $2978 donation from the Good George Brewery company.
Ms O'Leary was adamant the contribution would have no influence on how she approached the city's draft local alcohol policy.
"Good George do a lot of work in Frankton and they're eager to help the markets when the markets move into their new spaces.
"It [their donation] was recognition of my work for many years in Frankton."
In the race to remain Hamilton's mayor, Julie Hardaker spent $52,452 - more than double her nearest rival, Mr Wilson, who spent $22,347.
The mayoral campaign spending limit is $55,000.
Ms Hardaker pocketed two sizeable donations: $2000 from Keith Houston and $8000 from the Gallagher Group.
Mr Wilson received a $2146 donation from PAN Media while Dave Macpherson's mayoral campaign was given a $2000 boost from his father, Peter Macpherson.
Mayoral and Hamilton East candidate Tony Dixon spent $6916 on his failed bid to get into council.
Fellow mayoral and Hamilton East hopeful Ian Hanley spent $1348.
Mr Hanley's campaign attracted a $600 donation from former Hamilton mayor David Braithwaite, while his expenses records show he spent $200 on two branded T-shirts and a motorcycle vest.
Arshad Chatha spent no money on his mayoral bid, while Jack Gielen and Tim Wikiriwhi have yet to file their returns.
The deadline for candidates to submit returns was December 13.
Ms Pani said she would contact those candidates who had not filed returns.
After that, the matter would be passed to police.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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