Union County's Rushing says he's prepared for commissioner runof - myfoxcarolinas.com

Union County's Rushing says he's prepared for commissioner runoff

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Only one of nine candidates running for Union County Commissioner received 40 percent of votes. In North Carolinas, this means that those who finished fourth and fifth, missing out on one of the three open seats, have until Thursday, May 15 to file for a runoff election.

Current-commissioner and Vice Chairman Jerry Simpson finished in first place with 6,703 votes. He's in -- and Stony Rushing who finished in third place, says those supporting Jerry Simpson, will support him if a runoff happens.

Rushing says that he spent just $1,200 on his campaign, where first-place finisher Jerry Simpson spent over $50,000. But he adds that if a runoff occurs, he's likely to dig deeper for funds.

"I specifically was offered campaign contributions and would've gladly accepted them except for I wanted to run on a budget," Rushing said. "But in a runoff, the gloves are going to come off."

Rushing says if he earns a seat, he will be the only commissioner from eastern Union County.

"I'm the only one with the credibility to go back to eastern Union County and say we need to work these things out between the two sides of the county," Rushing said.

"They are not doing us wrong over there and we are not doing them wrong over here. That's really important. People need somebody who can see both sides and I've been able to do that since my first time in office."

Lance Simpson finished in second with 4,431 votes -- just shy of the 4,452-mark needed to clinch a seat.

Rushing finished with 4,279.

Where things get tricky, is the fourth and fifth place finishers (those who would need to request a runoff) are Tracy Kuehler and Kim Ormiston. They ran with second-place finisher Lance Simpson as a "group-of-three." They wanted to be voted in as a majority, to control the commission.

Now, there is question as to whether or not Kuehler and Ormiston, or even just one of the two, will file for the runoff -- since it is not possible for their entire "three" to be voted in with only two seats possibly open.

Kuehler said that, right now, it's "premature" to make that decision and that she is waiting to gather more facts.

Current commissioner Richard Helms said on Tuesday that he was not in favor of bringing in a "group of three."

"We need individual thinkers," Helms said. "We need people that will come together for the county and operate as individuals, not as a majority."

"The Three" have received a lot of support from those in the county against school redistricting. Together, their plan was to bring former-county commissioner experience (Kuehler), municipality experience (Ormiston served on Wesley Chapel Town Council and as Mayor Pro Tem) and business (Lance Simpson).

No democrats ran for the commissioner race. So the winners of the primary, in all likelihood, will fill the three seats opening.






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