• Channel 9 looks into Harris' political consulting firm

    By: Mark Becker

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Channel 9 looked learned Mark Harris paid a political consulting firm in Huntersville.

    That firm then hired McCrae Dowless, the man at the center of the investigation.

    Eyewitness News reporter Mark Becker looked into that firm and the critical role it could play in this case.

    [RELATED: Nation's eyes on NC 9th District showdown between Harris and McCready]

    For more than five years, the Red Dome Group has been consulting for Republican candidates in North Carolina and elsewhere including 9th district candidate Harris.

    Harris’ campaign paid Red Dome a total of $428,000 in 2017 and 2018 for help in his primary and general election run for Congress.

    We've learned that some of that money went to pay Dowless, the man in the middle of the fraud investigation into absentee ballots in Bladen and Robeson counties.

    The man behind Red Dome Group, Andy Yates, runs his consulting business from Huntersville.

    He was behind the scenes in the Harris campaign but since news of the possible fraud broke, Yates has been hard to reach.

    [US House District 9 race investigation: How we got here]

    Channel 9 learned that the Secretary of State's Office took away Red Dome's corporate status last year after they failed to file annual reports for two years.

    Channel 9 contacted Carolyn Justice, a former state legislator from Wilmington, who's listed as Red Dome's lead consultant and asked her about Dowless.

    She said she wasn't involved in the 9th district campaign at all.

    Harris did not return Channel 9’s calls.

    A source said they think the investigation will probably go into early next year and involve Congress.

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