Candidates in the January 19 general election spent more than $2 million in their bid to win a place in the 30-member House of Assembly.
The official Return of Election Expenses released Friday by Supervisor of Elections Angela Taylor revealed that the biggest spenders came from among Cabinet members, with Christ Church West Central MP and Minister of Environment and National Beautification Adrian Forde topping the list with $89,120 in expenses.
Absent from the summary of election expenses which is published in accordance with the Representation of the People Act, are former president of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Verla Depeiza who unsuccessfully contested the St Lucy seat and her party colleague Dr Dennis Lowe who also failed in his second bid to secure the Christ Church East constituency.
Minister of Labour, Social Partnership Relations and The Third Sector Colin Jordan declared the second largest investment in the election campaign, having forked out $82,867 leading up to his victory in St Peter.
The amount spent by Prime Minister Mia Mottley – $71,836 – was the closest to Jordan’s, while Christ Church East Central MP and Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn followed with a bill of $68,000.
The Member of Parliament for St Michael South East and Deputy Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw, along with St George South MP Dwight Sutherland who is Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, had expenses of just over $66,000.
Senior Minister for Infrastructural Projects and MP for Christ Church West Dr William Duguid, Minister of Home Affairs and representative for Christ Church East Wilfred Abrahams, and former Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs Marsha Caddle who represents the St Michael South Central constituency spent just over $60,000 on their election campaigns.
Attorney General Dale Marshall who won in St Joseph, Speaker of the House of Assembly Arthur Holder who won the St Michael Central seat, representative for St George North Toni Moore, and Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Sandra Husbands, who is the MP for St James South, all declared expenses of more than $50,000.
Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Kirk Humphrey, who retained the St Michael South seat, and Government backbencher Trevor Prescod, the MP for St Michael East, turned in spending of over $40,000.
Former Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley, who failed in his bid to oust Holder in St Michael Central, spent a little more than $4,000 – the least amount of money on the election campaign as an incumbent.
Among the big-spending first-timers were Rommell Springer, Chris Gibbs, Corey Lane and Davidson Ishmael. Their bills ranged between $25,000 and $40,000.
Three of the DLP “old guards” who returned to the election battle were all out-spent by their Barbados Labour Party (BLP) opponents. Sonia Browne spent $27,000 to Michael Lashley’s $18,000 in St Philip North; Richard Sealy forked out $30,000 to Caddle’s $61,000 in St Michael South Central; and Dr David Estwick spent $30,000 compared with Kay McConney’s $34,000 in the run-up to the poll in St Philip West.