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Union County board chairman Stony Rushing dies

Stony Rushing at a microphone
David Boraks
Stony Rushing addresses the Mecklenburg Evening Women's Republican Club in 2019.

Stony Rushing, chairman of the Union County Board of Commissioners, died Tuesday, the county said. He was 51.

In a statement, the county said he died after battling health issues for the past year. Rushing posted on social media in 2022 that he was beginning treatment for leukemia. In recent days, friends and supporters of Rushing posted that he was entering palliative care.

"We were hopeful he would make a full recovery, so this certainly is a difficult time," the commission and Rushing's family said in a joint statement.

Rushing, a Republican, served on the Union County board from 2002 to 2006, and again from 2014 to now. He ran unsuccessfully for the 9th District U.S. House of Representatives seat in 2019, after the election was thrown out by the state Board of Elections when operatives associated with original winner Mark Harris' campaign carried out an illegal ballot-harvesting scheme.

A firearms dealer by trade, Rushing was the owner of Take Aim Training Range and a firearms instructor. He is survived by his wife and two children.

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Ely Portillo has worked as a journalist in Charlotte for over a decade. Before joining WFAE, he worked at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Charlotte Observer.