I-Team: Election day spending - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

I-Team: Election day spending


The 2012 Presidential race came out as the costliest run for the White House ever with over $2 billion spent. In East Baton Rouge Parish though, the mayoral race was actually below average, but still close to a million dollars.

From tens of thousands of dollars to just over $10, that's how much the four men who fought for the mayor's seat, spent just on election day.

The winner, incumbent Mayor Kip Holden spent the most with $26,000 going to make sure people were getting out to the polls to vote. More than $13,000 on election day radio and television advertising bringing his grand total to $40,649.

Runner-up Mike Walker spent a fourth of that with the majority going to last minute advertising. His total tab was $10,816.

Stephen Myers also shelled out some last minute advertising dollars: $710.

The man who saved the most was Gordon Mese spending only $13.17 on election day for party supplies.

"I had to go to Albertson's twice because I didn't make a list," said Mese. "Well, that was the idea to prove that you didn't have to spend $500,000 of other people's money and beholden to them."

"On a cost-to-vote basis, Gordon Mese was the winner. He spent $13.17 on election day and he got 3.5 percent of the votes," said WAFB political analyst Jim Engster.

Mese finished a distant third.

Holden won outright with 60 percent of the votes followed by Walker at 34 percent. Having spent the least amount of the four candidates, Mese had 6,585 votes, and Myers followed with 4,256.

Engster said Election day expenditures are crucial especially for Democrats because the Bayou State usually votes Republican. In the Capital City however, Democrats turned out in big numbers for Holden and Obama this year. As for the $40,649 Holden spent in one day, Engster said he would have kept his seat regardless.

"As it turned out, the mayor got 60 percent of the votes so he probably could have won the election without having spent a dime as it turned out," said Engster.

Engster added in comparison to mayoral races in similar sized cities, it was relatively an inexpensive campaign. Collectively, the four spent about a million dollars on the entire campaign trail.

Mese told 9News he would run again for mayor.  Holden will have reached his term limit and Walker said he does not plan to run again. Myers did not return WAFB's call.

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