Pierceville developer gave $1M to Youngkin

Published 12:12 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The company proposing to redevelop the former Pierceville and Little’s Supermarket properties was the largest donor to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign last year — aside from Republican Party affiliates and Youngkin himself.

LSMP LLC — which Town Attorney William Riddick III created for former Smithfield Foods Chairman Joseph W. Luter III in 2020 while representing him in his efforts to acquire and raze the former Main Street grocery store and 1730s-era farmhouse — gave Youngkin’s campaign $1 million in October, according to the Virginia Department of Elections’ campaign finance records.

The company’s name is an abbreviation for Little’s Super Market Property.

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The records list an address of 19259 Farm Road, Smithfield, for LSMP LLC. According to Isle of Wight County tax records, the address belongs to a parcel owned by ROSF LLC — another company Riddick created in 2006.

According to State Corporation Commission records, Riddick filed paperwork on Dec. 27 to change ROSF LLC’s principal office from 200 Commerce St. — the address of Smithfield Foods’ corporate headquarters — to Joseph W. Luter IV at the Farm Road address.

The principal office of LSMP is actually 932 Laskin Road, Suite 200, in Virginia Beach, according to the SCC. The address belongs to the office of Sean Roberson, a real estate agent with Broadsight Realty & Property Management.

Luter IV, the son of the former Smithfield Foods chairman, has been working with his father on the design of the proposed mixed-use Pierceville development, which they’re proposing to name “The Grange at 10Main” for its location at the intersection of Main Street and Route 10.

But the $1 million donation by LSMP LLC to Youngkin was “not a contribution I made,” Luter IV told The Smithfield Times by phone Jan. 19.

The younger Luter said he supports Youngkin, and acknowledged having contributed $35,000 personally toward the governor’s campaign last year. According to campaign finance records, Luter made separate contributions of $25,000 in July and $10,000 in October. He also said he knows the identity of the million-dollar donor but was “not at liberty” to disclose that person’s name, nor comment on the donation.

According to an analysis by the Virginia Public Access Project, the $1 million from LSMP was the fourth largest contribution to Youngkin overall. The three donors who contributed more than LSMP were the Republican Party of Virginia, at $3.3 million, the Republican Governors Association at $10.7 million and Youngkin himself at $20 million.

LSMP made no other political donations aside from the $1 million to Youngkin.

Luter III gave an additional $25,000 personally to Youngkin’s campaign in July. Luter III was unable to be reached via phone by press deadline.

The Smithfield Times also contacted Riddick on Jan. 24, asking whether he has continued to represent Luter III or IV and whether he knew who made the million-dollar donation via LSMP. 

“I cannot answer those questions,” Riddick replied via email.

He did, however, confirm his continued status as the registered agent for ROSF and LSMP.

Contributions from Isle of Wight County residents in last year’s gubernatorial race overwhelmingly favored Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin over his Democratic challenger, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Isle of Wight donors — 89 in total — contributed roughly $1.08 million to Youngkin’s campaign versus the 16 who gave $22,310 to McAuliffe’s.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project’s database of political contributions from the 2021 election cycle, Isle of Wight donors who gave Youngkin $1,000 or more were:

  • LSMP LLC: $1 million
  • Joseph W. Luter IV: $35,000
  • Smithfield Foods: $10,000
  • Hallwood Enterprises Inc.: $5,000
  • Isle of Wight County Republican Party: $1,400
  • Jedidiah Coburn: $2,352
  • Charles B. Pond III: $1,700
  • William H. Riddick III: $1,500
  • Roderick Hallum: $1,339
  • Terry Ringler: $1,050
  • Dwight Doggett Jr.: $1,000
  • Brian Pack: $1,000
  • David R. Stafford: $1,000
  • R2 Facilitation: $1,000

Isle of Wight donors who gave McAuliffe $1,000 or more were:

  • Smithfield Foods: $15,000
  • Surai Inc.: $2,500
  • Michael S. Haigh: $1,500

There were no contributions of $1,000 or more from Surry County residents or companies.

Here’s a link to VPAP’s complete list of Isle of Wight donors to Youngkin: https://tinyurl.com/mtrkku58

Here’s a link to VPAP’s complete list of Isle of Wight donors to McAuliffe: https://tinyurl.com/2ua667h4