If there's one thing that the final financial statements for the 2008 school board race suggest, it's that having established ties to the community can save an awful lot of campaign dollars.


The Chrises Bentley and Lindsay each have constituencies that knew them going into the race -- Bentley was known to parents and teachers, as well to school board watchers, while Lindsay is an active member of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce.


That showed up in the bottom line: Bentley's successful run for the school board -- he came in first place with 9,093 votes -- cost him $1.15 per vote. Lindsay, who came in third with 7,370 votes, and did not got a seat, spent $2.89 per vote won.


Frank Rich failed in his bid to win a seat on the school board, but spent like a winner: Rich's 4,364 votes cost him only 79 cents each. Like Bentley and Lindsay, he had a core constituency. Two of them, in fact: Rich is an alumnus of Hesperia Christian School and a former employee of the Hesperia Unified School District.


In contrast, Anthony Riley, who has no children in the Hesperia Unified School District, and who works in San Bernardino, had to spend a lot more money to get his name in front of voters. It worked -- he received 7,530 votes, landing him in second place and in one of the vacant seats on the school board -- but at a cost of $11.52 per vote received, or approximately four times as much as Lindsay spent.


Candidate Bruce Henson had previously filed forms stating that he would neither raise nor spend more than $1,000. Assuming he spent exactly $1,000, his campaign would have still be the cheapest of them all, with each of his 2,696 votes costing him 37 cents.


According to the candidate, final campaign expenses for candidate Eric Swanson had not been submitted to the San Bernardino County Registrar of voters as of Friday morning. This story will be updated on HesperiaStar.com when his 460s are made available.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.