Recently elected St. Petersburg City Council member Lisset Hanewicz spent about $5 less per vote in her campaign for the District 4 seat compared to opponent Tom Mullins, giving her a bigger bang for her buck.
Hanewicz, who took the seat Tuesday night with 55% of the vote, spent $3.44 per vote. Mullins, on the other hand, spent $8.86 per vote, pulling 45%.
Florida Politics calculated the price per vote using the candidates’ final campaign finance reports, including the total spending since the start of each campaign. That number is then divided by the number of votes each candidate received.
Mullins spent $129,338 more than Hanewicz overall and received fewer votes, making for a poor return on investment. The Raymond James executive spent a total of $243,806 since launching his campaign and earned 27,503 votes Tuesday night, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office results. Hanewicz, a former prosecutor, dished out $114,358 and received 33,238 votes.
The District 4 race saw the largest campaign funding outside of the city’s mayoral election.
Despite leading throughout the the Primary race, Hanewicz’s edge was quickly wiped out in the runoff, when Mullins, pulling from his own bank account, gave himself a $236,100 boost in campaign funding, including cutting a $90,000 check just two weeks before the election.
Hanewicz, on the other hand, primarily relied on individual donors and Democratic organizations for funding, although she too contributed $5,000 to her campaign when she launched it.
Both candidates finished the race with money left in their campaign accounts, Hanewicz, who raised a total of $121,139, was left with $6,781 and Mullins, who raised $259,355, has $15,549 remaining.
According to the Florida Election Code, leftover funds in the campaign accounts must be disposed of within 90 days after a winner is declared. Campaigns can dispose of the funds by donating them to a nonprofit, giving up to $25,000 to their associated political Party, or reimbursing contributors pro rata.