The first time he knew that the NAR had supported him to the tune of $11,898.26 was when he read it Monday night in the Turner Report.
"I didn't expect this."
Gander said he had asked for a grant in the neighborhood of $250 to $300.
Gander, who runs a home inspection business working on a regular basis with realtors, was aware that the organization gave money to political candidates and applied for it several weeks ago.
"I knew a grant was written for Mike Woolston (former Joplin City Councilman) and Cody Smith (state representative) and I decided to apply for it."
Gander's application was sent to the local realtors' chapter, who approved it, as well as the application of his fellow R-8 candidate Deborah Gould, and forwarded it to the national association.
Gander and Gould had no say in how the money was spent. That was done independently by the organization with guidance from the local chapter.
The NAR files reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission on each of the candidates it supports.
Gould was also taken by surprise when she learned that the NAR was working to support her candidacy.
"I put in for a grant and they gave it to me. They did robocalls, mailings, and social media advertisement for me. I didn't know I got it until I saw the Facebook advertisement.
"I didn't know what all they did until peple told me that they got it in the mail and received a phone call. I didn't even know how much it was and when I found out I contacted the board office and they told me I don't have control over how they spend it or how much it is.
"I thought it was high for this area, but I was blessed to have received it."
(Photo- Candidates, from left, Derek Gander, Ron Brewer, Deborah Gould, and Brent Jordan answered questions at a recent forum.)