A review of Albany campaign spending in the 2018 election

It’s time once again for me to post the amounts spent by candidates for Albany city council and school board positions. I typically do this after every election. This information is public record and can be found on the Albany city clerk’s website here.  The candidates are required to complete their post-election reporting by the end of January, and the city posts the information in February. The spending numbers below were taken from each candidate’s Form 460, page 3, line 11.

There were three candidates who ran for two city council positions, Preston Jordan, Peggy McQuaid and Rochelle Nason. McQuaid and Nason were both incumbents, and both won re-election. McQuaid and Nason both agreed to the voluntary campaign spending limit of $6,000. This limit does not include the $980 required by the state for the 250-word ballot statement. Jordan did not agree to adhere to the limit. Their vote tallies (high to low) and spending are listed below.

McQuaid $3,183  votes: 4,716

Nason $6,915.27  votes: 4,245

Jordan $35,379.60  votes: 4,009

For comparison, here are the spending amounts and vote totals for the three candidates who won election in 2016:

Nick Pilch $16,076.48 votes: 5,386

Pete Maass $7,185.47 votes: 5,328

Michael Barnes $1,990.69 votes: 3,589

My spending in 2016 was low because I created my own simple campaign literature in Photoshop and InDesign and I used my surplus yard signs from the 2012 election. In addition, my strategy was to spend as little as possible and still come in third, which is what I accomplished. That seems like the rational approach to me.

I will point out that the two big spenders in 2016 and 2018, Nick Pilch and Preston Jordan, are the co-founders of the advocacy organization Albany Strollers and Rollers. I think we set the voluntary campaign limit in the right place. Pilch and Jordan, who spent much more than $6,000, didn’t seem to get much bang for the buck from their additional spending.

Here are the amounts spent for the Albany Unified School District elections:

Sara Hinkley $4,635.38  votes: 4,922

Clementina Duron $(NA)  votes: 4,575

Brian Doss $(NA) votes: 3,092

Charlie Blanchard $(NA) votes: 2,940

Ross Stapleton-Gray $(NA) votes 2,438

All of the school board candidates except Hinkley spent less than $2,000, so they were not required to file a Form 460. The Albany Teacher’s Association filed a Form 460 to report its campaign expenditures on behalf of the following candidates:

Sara Hinkley $965.20

Clementina Duron $1,370.20

Brian Doss $1,370.20