Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone is the top spender in last May's provincial election with a campaign amounting to nearly $160,000.
It's twice the amount spent by his nearest rival, NDP candidate Tom Friedman, and nearly $40,000 more than his counterpart in Kamloops-North Thompson, Liberal incumbent MLA Terry Lake.
Despite the high figure, Stone cites no regrets.
"Our goal was to win," he said.
Friedman said he isn't a bit surprised at the amount adding it's actually less of a disparity than the last election when former MLA Kevin Krueger spent three times more than he did.
"We (the NDP) rely 80 to 90 per cent of our donations come from individuals and we know that the Liberal Party relies heavily on corporate donations," said Friedman.
Stone said the amount is so high because he started four months earlier than most other candidates across the province.
He had to play catch-up because of a lesser-known name and said he wouldn't change a thing.
He spent $50,000 on media advertising before the campaigning period began and another $20,000 on ads during.
"I'm very, very proud of the campaign that we ran and make no apologies whatsoever for the effort that the team expended and the resources that we expended to secure our victory," said Stone.
But whether the old adage stating you can buy votes is true is debatable, said veteran political scientist Norman Ruff.
"There's so many factors going into who wins, who loses and if the tide's going against you, no matter how much you spend, you can be left high and dry," he said.
Friedman, on the other hand, believes that having deep pockets can wield influence.
"The number of TV ads that the Liberals ran . . . especially through the last couple of weeks, I think had a major impact on the electorate."
Papers filed with Elections B.C. lists $144,000 of the money spent on Stone's campaign as B.C. Liberal Party transfers.
That level of commitment shows just how important he and the riding were to the party, said Ruff.
"It reflects the well established myth about Kamloops — I'm not sure if it's a myth or reality — of being a bellwether riding. So the candidate and the riding were priorities."
The former University of Victoria professor added that the amount also shows campaign expenditures are "getting pretty high."
"I used to tell my students, 'Give me $100,000 and I'll get you elected.' But that's obviously going up."
Stone made it clear that the funding came entirely from donations that he and Lake collected and split 50/50.
Donors are encouraged to make cheques out to the B.C. Liberal Party since it then becomes tax deductible, he said.
"Suggesting the (B.C.) Liberal party was bankrolling my campaign is completely untrue," he said. "I didn't receive a single penny of funds from the Liberal party."
In Kamloops-North Thompson, defeated NDP candidate Kathy Kendall spent $76,000.
Elsewhere in the region, Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo won his seat with a $113,000 campaign.
Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart beat NDP stalwart Harry Lali with $91,000. Lali took a $500 fine this week after not filing his finance papers on time.
Across the province, the Liberal Party spent $11.4 million campaigning versus the NDP's $9.4 million, according to preliminary Elections B.C. numbers.