Charlotte man wants to spend millions to get more veterans in Congress

Charlotte man wants to spend millions to get more veterans in Congress

CHARLOTTE, NC (Jim Morrill/The Charlotte Observer) - With some prominent backers, a Charlotte businessman and former Marine is spearheading a new "cross-partisan" effort designed to send more veterans to Congress in 2018.

"With Honor" is the name of the super PAC and related social welfare group that hopes to spend $30 million to elect at least 25 post 9-11 veterans to the U.S. House.

And one of those veterans could be the friend and business partner of the organizer.

The new group's founder is Rye Barcott, a former Duke Energy executive and five-year Marine veteran who served in Iraq and elsewhere overseas.

"With Honor's" advisory panel includes former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, political analyst David Gergen and J.D. Vance, author of "Hillbilly Elegy."

Barcott said while the group is focused for now on 2018 U.S. House races, "Our longer-term mission is to support veterans getting more involved in public life."

Super PACs can accept unlimited amounts of money from companies, individuals or unions and spend it on behalf of a candidate, though they must report their donors to the Federal Election Commission. Barcott declined to identify the group's funders.

He said the group will identify at least 25 candidates of both parties to support. One such candidate could be Charlotte's Dan McCready, a Democrat running for the 9th District congressional seat held by Republican Robert Pittenger.

McCready is a former Marine and Iraq vet who co-founded Double Time Capital with Barcott. The Charlotte company invests in solar energy projects.

"Obviously personal ties matter," Barcott said. "He's exactly the kind of candidate that With Honor could support."

Barcott said an endorsement could being $1 million into a campaign, depending on a particular district and the costs of running.