Tom Perriello, a Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia, recently sold his financial holdings in a Texas-based engineering and construction company interested in helping President Donald Trump build his proposed wall along the Mexican border.
Less than two weeks after the Washington Free Beacon reported on Perriello profiting from his investment in Fluor Corp., a major federal contractor involved in multiple pipeline projects that he opposes, the gubernatorial candidate sold his stake in the company as his campaign seeks to portray a message of populist reform.
Perriello's campaign claimed last month that it was not aware of the investment, but then confirmed later the stock was sold on April 18 without providing a reason behind the decision, the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported Thursday.
Perriello's financial disclosure showed he had equities valued somewhere between $5,000 and $50,000 in the Texas-based engineering and construction firm. The company, a major federal contractor, had expressed early interest in the still-uncertain wall project, though it's not clear how strongly it is pursuing the work.
Fluor also helped Dominion build the $1 billion Brunswick County Power Station, a massive power plant that could ultimately be fueled by natural gas from the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a project Perriello has adamantly opposed as a candidate. Fluor is building Dominion's natural gas-fired Greensville County Power Station, a $1.3 billion project also connected to the pending pipeline.
Fluor did not respond to a request for comment.
Perriello has vocally voiced his opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline projects during the Democratic primary to show a contrast from his opponent, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.
Northam, the establishment candidate, does not outright oppose the pipeline projects. He believes there should be a review process, but also notes that a governor does not have authority over federally approved projects.
In addition to opposing the pipelines, Perriello also promised on the campaign trail that he would refuse to accept all political donations from Dominion and other state-regulated utilities, according to the Dispatch.
More than 50 Democratic candidates running for the Virginia House of Delegates have made a similar pledge this year to refuse Dominion money. The pledge was circulated by Activate Virginia, a progressive group that has also pressured Perriello and Northam to dump some of their financial investments.
In a letter sent to the campaigns early this week in collaboration with anti-pipeline group Preserve Floyd, Activate Virginia urged Perriello to divest from Fluor and asked Northam to part with stock he holds in Dominion, also valued somewhere between $5,000 and $50,000.