Home Pay to play: Youngkin appointees to UVA Board of Visitors wrote him big checks
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Pay to play: Youngkin appointees to UVA Board of Visitors wrote him big checks

Chris Graham
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(© Melinda Fawver – stock.adobe.com)

Glenn Youngkin announced four appointments to the University of Virginia Board of Visitors on Wednesday. Three of the four have written big checks to Youngkin to help fuel his political ambitions.

The new members, who will take their seats at the board’s next meeting, scheduled to begin Sept. 14, include John L. Nau III, of Houston, the chair and CEO of Silver Eagle Beverages, one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the United States.

Nau has donated $200,000 to Youngkin’s political action committee, Spirit of Virginia, and donated another $100,000 in 2021 to back Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign, according to information from the Virginia Public Access Project.

Nau, who has a bachelor’s degree in history from UVA, previously served on the Board of Visitors from 2011 to 2015.

He was appointed to that term by former Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican. According to VPAP, Nau donated $29,130 to McDonnell’s 2009 gubernatorial campaign, and $35,000 to McDonnell’s Opportunity Virginia PAC.

Paul B. Manning, of Charlottesville, the chair and CEO of PBM Capital Group, made $185,000 in donations to the Youngkin campaign for governor and $55,519 in donations to the Spirit of Virginia PAC.

Manning, who has a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, previously served on the board of UVA’s Strategic Planning Committee, the UVA Health Foundation board, and the President’s Advisory Committee board, and he recently partnered with UVA to open the Paul and Diane Manning Institute for Biotechnology.

Rachel Sheridan, of McLean, a partner at the Kirkland & Ellis law firm who is the vice president of the Virginia Athletics Foundation, donated $25,000 to the Youngkin gubernatorial campaign and another $700 to the Youngkin inaugural committee.

Sheridan has degrees from UVA and the UVA School of Law.

There are no VPAP records of political donations from the fourth appointee, Paul C. Harris, of Richmond, the executive vice president and chief sustainability and compliance officer of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Harris, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hampton University and a juris doctor degree from the George Washington University Law School, is a former two-term Republican state delegate from Albemarle County, winning elections in 1997 and 1999.

The new appointees will replace the board’s current rector, Whitt Clement of Richmond, Louis S. Haddad of Suffolk, Angela Hucles Mangano of San Marcos, Calif., and James V. Reyes of Washington, D.C., whose terms conclude on Friday.

Clement, a special counsel at Hunton Andrews Kurth, was appointed to the UVA board by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, in 2015, and reappointed by McAuliffe’s successor, Ralph Northam, a Democrat, in 2019.

According to VPAP, Clement, who has degrees from UVA and the UVA School of Law, donated $1,500 to the 2013 McAuliffe gubernatorial campaign, $1,000 to the Northam 2017 gubernatorial campaign, and $1,000 to the 2021 McAuliffe gubernatorial campaign.

Haddad, the CEO and president of Armada Hoffler Properties, who was appointed to the Board of Visitors by Northam in 2019, has a more diverse political money background – with his VPAP profile actually not showing any donations to Northam, and the $99,750 in donations in total on his file including $51,000 to Democratic candidates, $31,000 to Republican candidates and $17,750 going to independent candidates.

There are no candidate donation files on record in the VPAP database for Hucles Mangano, a former UVA soccer player who is the general manager of the Angel City FC team in the NWSL.

VPAP has one donation on record for Reyes, a University of Maryland alum who is the president of Reyes Holdings LLC, which is ranked by Forbes as the sixth largest privately held company in the United States – an $1,829 donation to the Anthony Williams campaign for mayor of Washington, D.C., back in 2002.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].

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