John Tory (open John Tory's policard)’s mayoral campaign spent almost $2.8 million and raised a little more — a Toronto election fundraising record, says his campaign co-chair.
Tory spent more than three times as much as second-place finisher Doug Ford, who entered the race late to replace his ailing brother Rob, and almost $1 million more than third-place Olivia Chow.
John Capobianco said in a news release that Tory spent $2.795 million to get elected last October. Of that, the campaign says $1.322 million fell under the city’s spending limit of $1.349 million.
Election finance rules exempt from the limit some expenses, including fundraising costs and money spent on volunteer appreciation activities. The Tory campaign listed those exempt expenses at $1.473 million.
On the fundraising side, the campaign said almost 4,350 donors coughed up a total of $2.86 million to help elect the well-connected former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party, company executive and radio host.
Some $500,000 was raised through online donations. The campaign also held 60 fundraising events.
Tory’s $67,343 campaign surplus was returned to the city, in accordance with the rules.
Friday was the deadline for all of the campaigns to file their financial statements.
At city hall to sign his campaign finance filing, Doug Ford said that, after he jumped into the race in September, his campaign spent $900,000 and raised about $300,000.
Rob Ford (open Rob Ford's policard), who ended up being elected to his old Ward 2 Etobicoke North council seat, has a debt of about $200,000 from his $500,000 mayoral campaign, his brother said.
Doug Ford said the amount Tory raised shows he is the choice of the “rich of the rich” while the Fords are supported by working-class Torontonians.
The Fords are holding a May 14 fundraiser to try to clear their combined campaign debts. Last week, Doug Ford noted that Tory refused an invitation to attend and help them clear the books.
Tory told reporters that he declined to help the Fords because much of their spending was on ads attacking his character.
He, along with past mayors including David Miller, is hosting a $1,500-a-plate fundraiser in April for David Soknacki, who withdrew from the mayoral race after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a well-regarded but mostly self-financed campaign.
Chow filed her finances last week. Her campaign raised $1.91 million and broke even, it says.
The Chow campaign claimed $552,845 in expenses it says were not subject to the spending limit.