Throwing cash on the voters | Native-news

WEST CHESTER – Two Democratic mayoral candidates spent a lot of money on their primary campaigns on May 18th.

As part of the required campaign financial report, alleged Democratic candidate Lillian DeBaptiste reported that her campaign spending on May 3 was $ 16,461 and she had raised $ 26,051.

The election results are not official until they have been approved by the Chester County Board of Elections.

The May 3 campaign cost Interim Mayor Jordan Norley about $ 25,000. Most of DeBaptiste’s expenses were covered by donors, while a large part of Norleys was borrowed by the candidate for the campaign and may be paid for by Norley if other donors have not already or not yet contacted.

Notably, there was 15 days of campaigning between the May 3 reporting period and the primaries. Candidates will report final spending numbers next month.

Unofficially, Norley received 656 votes and spent about $ 25,000, which cost $ 38.10 per vote. DeBaptiste received 996 votes and with approximately $ 16,461 spent, invested $ 16.53 for each of their votes.

The third-place candidate, Kyle Hudson, was chosen by 248 voters. Contributors contributed $ 2,552 and in-kind donations of $ 3,029 through May 3, with a cost of $ 22.50 for each vote collected by Hudson.

Norley talked about why he spent so much on a job that pays $ 4,000 a year.

“Using some of my personal finances for this campaign was a personal investment in our initiatives and our community throughout the campaign,” said Norley. “Even though we know the results of elementary school, I will always put my money where my mouth is and it has helped us highlight and promote initiatives such as rail restoration and our renewable energy goals.”

Norley also said the email voting “changed the game”. He sent mailers so that all voters would get the message before they posted a ballot.

“Voting by email made it more expensive to run a professional campaign,” said Norley.

DeBaptiste noted that this was her first experience while running for political office. She also said the pandemic changed the campaign.

She was unable to run large fundraising drives and meet and greet voters one by one.

“Our team set out to do a few small, intimate meet-and-greets for 12 people or less, but we haven’t had the opportunity to have larger ones,” she said. “COVID has made it difficult to meet voters.

“It became more difficult to impress the voters.”

The DeBaptiste campaign, the candidate said, bought digital and print advertising and sent literature “to make a difference and put you in front of the voters”.

Almost all editions of the DeBaptiste campaign were contributed by supporters.

“Fortunately, I have many friends, loved ones, and supporters who believed in me enough to contribute, and many of them contributed for the first time because they were so excited that I ran,” he said. “However, I was really grateful for all the funds raised.

“I realized what it takes to hold elections.”

DeBaptiste said that running for political office should be open to all and should not be viewed as an “elitist sport”.

“Campaign reform really needs to be addressed,” she said. “If you can’t raise the money, how can you run for office?”

Tom Chambers was elected Mayor in 1977, 1985 and 1989. His 1989 election campaign cost about $ 6,000.

“Money and politics have become a big problem,” he said. “That kind of money sounds extreme or obscene.

“When you spend that kind of money in an elementary school, in a local election, and in a town like West Chester, it’s a bit of a problem. Money shouldn’t be the deciding factor. “

Mayor Norley took Dianne Herrin’s position as mayor when she was elected as state representative.

She said the Mayor of West Chester should be getting a salary, not just the $ 4,000 annual stipend.

“Our city has grown considerably and the city needs and expects a mayor who has the skills and can use their time and expertise for the community,” said Herrin. “The $ 4,000 annual scholarship excludes many people from running.

“If you don’t have a lot of financial resources, you just can’t do this.”

No Republicans were listed in the main vote. Businessman Eric Lorgus is campaigning to run for independent in the November election.