(Nov. 21, 2014) Given that the base salary for City Council members is $10,000 per year, running for office wouldn’t appear to be the wisest investment, at least on the surface.
Final campaign filings from this year’s municipal election show that a total of $28,347.21 was reported in campaign costs.
Essentially all of this spending came from the top four non-incumbent candidates – Matt James, Wayne Hartman, Tony DeLuca, and Chris Rudolf.
James ran the costliest campaign by far with a total outlay of $12,480.15, including in-kind contributions. James also collected the largest and most widespread amount of citizen financial support, with $11,170.00 in total contributions from dozens of separate contributors.
Hartman followed with $7,704.00 in reported campaign value, DeLuca with $4,770.09, and Rudolf with $2,728.97.
Oddly enough, this would put the four highest non-incumbents in the same order monetarily as they were in vote totals. James received 1,666 votes, Hartman 1,345, DeLuca 1,287, and Rudolf 1,075.
The only anomaly among the finishers was incumbent Council President Lloyd Martin, who finished third in the vote tally with 1,342 votes, although he reported no campaign spending at all.
James, Hartman and Martin captured the three seats whose four-year terms expired this year. DeLuca’s seat will be up again in two years, since the spot was vacated by Joe Mitrecic halfway through his term. Mitrecic will be taking Ocean City’s seat on the Worcester County Commissioners.
Although he was unopposed, 1,838 voters affirmed Mayor Rick Meehan for another two-year term. Meehan reported $664 in campaign expenses for this election.
As well as being a standout financially, James’ campaign was also a standout in success. Given that this year saw 2,348 voters turn out to the municipal polls, James’ 1,666 supporters captured a whopping 71.0 percent of the vote, the highest margin in city history.
Additionally, the city’s voter rolls dropped significantly this year, to 5,267 registered voters versus 6,343 in 2012. This gives James a record-breaking 31.63 percent margin of support out of the city’s total eligible voting population.