The cost of standing: Wexford candidates reveal their spend
WITH the election date drawing closer with every ad placed and flyer dropped, it's the battle of the big bucks as our 17 candidates try to impress themselves upon voters across County Wexford.
Candidates plan to spend in excess of €175,000 on their campaigns, providing a boost to the Wexford economy.
The larger parties are committing the most cash to the cause, with several candidates planning to spend more than €20,000.
Newcomer Julie Hogan's campaign is expected to come to around €20,000. Her campaign manager Willie Fitzharris said between posters, advertisements, petrol and other associated campaign costs, the total by the time the election arrives will be in the region of €20,000.
Ms Hogan said: 'Any bit of savings I have is going into it.'
Minister of State Paul Kehoe said he plans to spend around €6,500 between his own resources and party money.
He said: 'Whatever I spend I spend on my own campaign. The party looks after the posters and the eight by fours. I don't do any corporate fundraising. I plan to spend around the €5,000 mark.'
Senator Michael D'Arcy Jnr said he will be committing a sum of around €20,000. He said: 'It's a bit of party money and a bit of my own personal funds.'
Cllr Malcolm Byrne said his campaign will cost over €20,000.
'It's difficult to give a final definitive figure, but if you count the period from when I won the nomination until after polling day (five months) and tot up the costs of posters, running an office, leaflets, newspaper advertising, canvassers' refreshments, driving costs etc, the campaign will cost in excess of €20,000.
'This is funded by myself or though fundraising that my campaign has done locally. No monies are received from party headquarters. It should also be noted that I took leave from work from January 1 for the campaign.'
Independent candidate Emmet Moloney plans to spend around €2,500.
He said: 'I had a fundraiser there recently and I have spent most of that. I have spent in the region of €2,000 so far and don't plan to spend a whole lot more. I am planning on spending in or around €2,500. That's what I'm looking at. I wouldn't go too mad. What I have spent my money on so far is leaflets, posters, car stickers, stickers and jackets for the canvassing team. As an independent I don't have big party finances behind me to fund me. Any money leftover, I still hope to give to charity.'
Emmet is saving money on posters on poles by purchasing some A3 posters for use in windows instead.
'They are for A3 posters outlining my policies which will be used for windows and whatever business organisation will allow. This, I believe, is more effective than posters on poles which are unsightly and distracting to motorists.'
Social Democrats candidate Leonard Kelly plans to spend approximately €3,000.
Independent candidate Ger Carthy has a substantial budget of €15,300 split between food, teas and coffee, €1,300, posters, €6,000, advertisements €3,500, printing, €3,200 and petrol and diesel, €1,500.
Labour's Brendan Howlin has sanctioned a significant election budgets of up to €12,000. Most of this, €7,000, comes from Labour Party funds.
Deputy Mick Wallace is spending around €9,000 on posters and associated election costs.
Fianna Fáil Cllr James Browne plans to spend €16,000. €5,000 of ths will go on newspaper advertising, €5,000 on posters, canvass cards and leaflets; with a large sum being spent on tea, sandwiches and associated travel costs.
People Before Profit candidate Deirdre Wadding can rattle off every cent of her expenses which could come in at around €4,700.
She said: 'Our budget is non-existent. We find out the minimum we have to have and we try and fundraise that. We literally have no money.'
She lists off some of the immediate expenses: canvass cards €95; 20,000 leaflets, €580; 1,000 cable ties, €208. She's reusing her local election posters but is printing an additional 500 at €2,500. Other printing costs come to €500.
'We will need around €4,700 but we're €3,000 shy of that. We're desperately fundraising.'
She set up an online Go Fund Me page with a first target of €500, and when it's reached, they'll set another one up. They also held fundraisers in Riverchapel and Wexford.
David Lloyd, Direct Democracy Ireland (DDI) - 'I had about €1,500 on campaign, but I had to get my car fixed, so I'm down to about €500, that's my own money and most will be spent on a mail drop. I'm not spending money on posters, from what I have seen of them, they have been blown down all over the place.'
Independent candidate Caroline Foxe says she's spending around €10,000.
'What we get in we are spending. I plan to spend in the region of €10,000. All of the post offices in Wexford are supporting me. They gave me a lump sum.'
New Fianna Fáil candidate Aoife Byrne plans to spend in the region of €20,000.
Green party candidate Ann Walsh said: 'My budget for the campaign is very, very small. It's €5,000 to cover posters leaflets, social events, and fuel. I have less than 100 posters for the county. I think they should be banned.'
Sinn Fein Cllr Johnny Mythen had €12,000 as a conservative figure for his election spend, adding: 'Well I don't have 70 grand to put towards it like some others. All of the money I am using is raised locally and through volunteers who collect funding. It wouldn't be long eating up on you.
'The lads are doing this because they want to and that makes a big difference. Supporters have raised money in recent months with quizzes, race nights, music functions and other events across the county.'
Independent Cllr John Dwyer, a latecomer to the race, said he plans to spend less than €750 on his campaign.