City Councilman Bill Vardoulis reported spending $11,283 in his successful campaign for office last November, more than double the amount spent by his nearest competitor, according to mandatory campaign-finance reports.
Michael F. Tague, an assistant principal of Irvine High School, reported spending $4,673 in his bid for an open council seat that was filled by special election Nov. 6. Vardoulis defeated Tague by a vote of 10,160 to 6,949.
Final 1990 spending reports for local candidates were due at the city clerk's office this week.
The other candidates in the November election, Carol Yocum, Albert E. Nasser and Genovica Niculescu-Balteanu, all said they spent less than $1,000 in the race and were not required to file expense forms.
Tague said he believes that being outspent had little to do with the election's outcome.
"I never worried that money would be the big difference in the campaign," Tague said Friday. "I think it was his high visibility." Vardoulis, 52, had served on the City Council from 1976 to 1984.
The amount that Vardoulis spent on the special-election campaign was small compared to amounts spent on regular council races. For instance, in those races last June, the successful candidates spent an average of $33,731 each, and the mayoral race cost the two top contenders an average of $94,406.
Larry Agran, who lost his reelection bid for mayor, set Irvine's campaign record in the primary last June by spending $117,361.
In November, timing probably was the main reason that spending was relatively low. The election was in doubt until 20 days before the balloting because of a court case challenging whether the election should be held to fill the one open seat. Tague said he began raising money for the race only after the court said the election was on.
Even though Vardoulis was able to raise the most money in the campaign, he said Friday that he did very little to solicit contributions. Most donations came in unexpectedly from people who heard he was running, he added.
"We raised double than what we planned or anticipated," he said.
Tague's fund drive wasn't as easy. He spent $1,068 out of his own pocket.
Although Vardoulis spent nearly $4,000 for newspaper advertisements and campaign literature, his biggest single expense was a $3,090 victory party for about 250 supporters at Waters Restaurant in Irvine on election night.
The bulk of Tague's campaign spending, $3,644, went to a local weekly newspaper for a series of advertisements. He also spent $1,021 for campaign literature.