NEW YORK – Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent more than $77 million to get re-elected, breaking the $74 million record he set in 2001 during his first try at politics, according to campaign finance reports released Monday.
The spending amounts to more than $103 per vote.
Bloomberg was elected in a landslide Nov. 8 over Democrat Fernando Ferrer. Ferrer's campaign finance filing was not immediately available, but he was believed to have spent about a tenth of the Republican's total.
The candidates will file a final report early next year, so the numbers are expected to grow slightly.
Bloomberg, who founded the media company that bears his name, tapped his $5 billion personal fortune to bankroll his campaign. Bloomberg defended his right to spend as he wishes.
"It is what it is," he said Monday. "I've spent my own money, I had a big message to get out and we did get the message out."
Bloomberg pummeled Ferrer by nearly 20 points. The mayor's win fell just fractions of a percentage point short of breaking the record for a GOP victory margin over a Democrat, which Mayor Fiorello La Guardia still holds from 1937.
Bloomberg funneled most of his cash into an avalanche of advertising and an extensive voter database that enabled the campaign to tailor its message and change its strategy day by day.