A far-right Virginia gubernatorial candidate who rails against globalism has invested in mutual funds with a global reach. A Democrat running an anti-Trump campaign holds shares in a company that is interested inbuilding the president’s proposed Mexican border wall.
Those details were among the personal financial disclosures due Thursday from candidatesrunning for state and legislative offices in Virginia this election year.
The statements of economic interest include business interests, investments and real-estate holdings owned by the candidates or their immediate family. Unlike candidates for federal office, those running for state office in Virginia do not have to specify non-investment income or reveal clients.
These are some highlights from the state reports, which can be viewed in full online:
Democratic gubernatorial candidates
Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former Congressman Tom Perriello are locked in a tight-race for the Democratic nomination where they’re sparring over their fealty to progressive causes.
Perriello listed between $15,003 - $150,000 worth of equities in Starbucks, Gilead Sciences and FLUOR Corp., one of the largest construction companies in the world. Fluor is also among the more than 700 companies expressing interest in helping to design and build the border wall with Mexico, a signature Trump policy reviled by Democratic activists.
The company was among those listed in a recent article on the investment site The Street under the headline “Here Are the Stocks that Stand to Benefit From Trump’s Border Wall with Mexico.”
Ian Sams, a spokesman for Perriello, said he did not select his investment in Fluor and wasn’t aware he held it until he filed his disclosure. Sams noted that Perriello is less wealthy than the other candidates in the race. “Every other candidate looks like Mr. Burns by comparison,” he said.
Northam and his immediate relatives hold more stock in major companies, with the largest holdings in Caterpillar and Kimberly Clark (with brands including Huggies, Kleenex and Kotex).
But also in his portfolio are energy companies reviled by some environmentalists, including Chevron and Dominion, the largest corporate donor to Virginia politics.
As a state official, Northam previously disclosed these investments and said in 2015 he wouldn’t cast tie-breaking votes in the Senate on legislation affecting Dominion because of his financial stake in the company.
Dominion has turned into a dividing line in the primary. Perriello says he will not take campaign contributions from the utility and opposes two planned natural gas pipelines, including Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.
A spokesman for Northam says he plans to put his investments in a blind trust if elected governor.
Northam, a pediatric neurologist, is on leave from the medical practice he founded. Perriello left his post as a State Department envoy in Africa after Trump’s election.
Republican gubernatorial candidates
Republican Ed Gillespie is far ahead of his two primary rivals in polling, despite their attempts to bash the longtime GOP strategist and former lobbyist as a Washington insider.
Gillespie’s financial disclosure shows he made between $200,000 to $1 million through his communications firm last year, while he was also preparing his gubernatorial campaign. A spokeswoman said Gillespie closed his firm at the end of last year and no longer has clients.
Although Gillespie is not required by state law to disclose past clients, his campaign voluntarily released that information.
According to spokeswoman Abbi Sigler, Gillespie advised AT&T and health insurance company Anthem on potential mergers. He also advised Microsoft and Bank of America on “reputation management and communications strategy,” she said.
During his unsuccessful campaign against U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D) in 2014, Gillespie disclosed 18 clients that included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Facebook and Walmart.
Gillespie’s disclosure also mentions business interests in two companies — Ashburn manufacturer PPI Ventures and trade data publisher World City Inc. — which his spokeswoman described as investments in businesses started by friends.
Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart, another Republican gubernatorial candidate, has frequently criticized Gillespie for his corporate ties. Stewart, an international trade lawyer, also denounces globalism on social media in his appeal to far-right voters.
He reported more than $250,000 in gross income for his two-attorney law firm that works on regulatory matters relating to exports. And his investments in mutual funds include Invesco Global Real Estate and John Hancock U.S. Global Leaders Growth Fund, which includes companies with global reach.
Stewart says he’s not opposed to international trade, but shipping jobs out of country.
The third GOP gubernatorial candidate, State Sen. Frank Wagner (Virginia Beach), a long-time state lawmaker, sold his ship repair businesses in 2015.
He and his wife still have rental property across the state and an extensive stock portfolio that includes more than $250,000 worth of shares in AMAG Pharmaceuticals and Dollar Tree.
Disclosures for two of the Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor — attorney Justin Fairfax and consultant Susan Platt — offered limited details.
A spokeswoman for Fairfax said the filing’s reference to more than $250,000 in gross income for legal services for grocers reflected his salary at Venable LLP while representing two clients with business operations in Virginia. She declined to identify the clients.
Last year Platt made $120,000 lobbying for tobacco Giant Altria and $32,000 lobbying for the payroll company ADP, according to OpenSecrets.org. A spokesman says Platt also consulted for Basheer & Edgemoore, a women-owned luxury builder in Virginia.
The third candidate, Gene Rossi, retired last summer as a federal prosecutor in Alexandria, and listed that listed an investment in a potential Vermont ski resort.
On the Republican side, state Sen. Bryce E. Reeves (Spotsylvania) and Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr. (Virginia Beach) reported more than $250,000 in gross income for their insurance and telecommunications businesses, respectively.
Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (Fauquier), an attorney whose firm handles campaign finance matters, reported more than $250,000 in compensation for legal services, as well as an interest in a business that a spokesman described as a family partnership that owns gas stations. Her spokesman said she is unable to disclose clients beyond describing them as “trade associations.”
Tracy Jan contributed to this report.