When it comes to putting their money where their mouth is, leadership contestants Mike Farnworth and Moira Stilwell come in first place. According to a review of Elections British Columbia filings, between 2005 and 2009 the two of them donated more money to their respective political parties than any of their competitors. Mr. Farnworth contributed $14,625 to the New Democrats while Dr. Stilwell contributed $8,235 to the Liberals.
Mr. Farnworth declined to comment on his generosity. But, for her part, Dr. Stilwell - who was a the head of nuclear medicine at three Lower Mainland hospitals before running for elected office in 2009 - said, "My donations are part of my commitment to support the aims of the BC Liberal Party in any way I can. I believe they are also part of my responsibility to show gratitude for the many volunteers who give so much for the party."
By comparison, front-running Liberal leadership candidates Mike de Jong, George Abbott and Kevin Falcon donated just $7,249 in total - with Mr. Falcon being the most miserly, contributing $855.
But the Surrey-Cloverdale MLA still contributed more than his competitors Christy Clark, who is on leave from her job as a CKNW broadcaster, and Ed Mayne, a Tim Hortons franchise owner and former Parksville mayor.
Neither of them donated a penny to the Liberals during those fours years.
Meanwhile, New Democrat leadership candidate Adrian Dix came in a close second to Mr. Farnworth - contributing $12,931.79.
Behind him: Nicholas Simons who - despite being a long-shot candidate and not even being a member of the party until 2004 - has donated $6,807.11.
"I've always said I joined the party to make it better and I'm in the process of doing what I can," said Mr. Simons, explaining that includes bankrolling the New Democrats.
Fellow long-shot candidate Dana Larsen hasn't been as generous, donating just $2,265 - less money than any of his competitors.
But the marijuana activist also doesn't have a cabinet minister, legislator, doctor, donut shop owner or radio personality's salary.
Political donations from leadership candidates
Moira Stilwell - $8,235
Mike de Jong - $3,917
George Abbott - $2,477
Kevin Falcon - $855
Christy Clark - $0
Ed Mayne - $0
Mike Farnworth - $14,625
Adrian Dix - $12,931.79
Nicholas Simons - $6,807.11
John Horgan - $5,945
Harry Lali - $4,486.28
Dana Larsen - $2,265