Rushing claims victory in July 15 runoff

Union County voters confirmed the May Republican primary results after Stony Rushing beat Tracy Kuehler by 851 votes in the Tuesday, July 15, runoff election.
Rushing will join current Vice-Chairman Jerry Simpson and candidate Lance Simpson on the November ballot for the Union County Board of County Commissioners. The three candidates will be the only ones to appear on the ballot, as there are no Democrats filed to run for the three vacant seats on the board. Only a write-in candidate could challenge the three Republicans.
More than 4,600 registered Republicans or independents came out to vote in the July 15 election, with 2,748 votes going to Rushing and 1,897 to Kuehler.
Rushing, a former county commissioner from 2002 to 2006, said prior to Tuesday’s election that his No. 1 priority as he steps onto the board will be to get the county’s sewer policy “under control” to help manage growth in Union County. Many areas of the county have seen a significant amount of growth, some even adding additional stress to the water and sewer system, much like recent debates in Weddington that stemmed from the town’s low water pressure and the need for a water tower. Many residents were opposed to the location of the tower on Hemby Road, but after a lawsuit and further discussions the county is now moving forward with the project.
“That’s one of my biggest goals, managing the growth as county commissioners,” Rushing said prior to Tuesday’s election.
Overall planning is something Rushing also will focus on come November if a write-in candidate doesn’t beat out any of the three candidates on the ballot. He hopes to bring together county departments, municipalities and other groups throughout Union County to plan for future growth and work together, he said.
“(I want to) begin working on managing growth and working to try to get a better handle on our sewage issues,” Rushing said following Tuesday’s election. “… We need to educate the citizens about the roles of the different boards of government, and we need to make sure we have a handle on growth in our whole county.”
Rushing, a Union County native, plans to spend his time talking with residents throughout the county to educate people on how the county government interacts with municipalities and the roles each play in planning and development. Although Rushing feels the two ends of the county are currently divided due to the recent elections, he hopes to bring citizens and government officials together to benefit the entire county as the board of county commissioners moves forward with business.
His experience in county government and policy stances may have had an influence on the recent election, he said, but Rushing acknowledged he couldn’t have done it without the continued support from voters in both the May primary and this week’s run off election.
“I just want to thank everybody,” he said. “We are overwhelmed with the support we had county wide. We are very pleased with the people who came out to vote for us again and supported us through all of this.”
Kuehler did not respond to Union County Weekly prior to its Wednesday, July 16, deadline.

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Ciera Choate

About Ciera Choate

Ciera Choate has been with the Union County Weekly since summer 2011 as an intern while she attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. After graduating with a degree in English and political science, Ciera joined the team full-time in early 2012. She has since been promoted to News Editor, with a main focus on town governments in western Union County, the Union County Board of County Commissioners and Union County Public Schools Board of Education, in addition to the paper's crime beat. Have a story idea or question for Ciera? Contact her at ciera@unioncountyweekly.com.

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