Former Madison County ADA remains on 2022 ballot for judge, prompting write-in campaign

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Bradley Moses may be the only name on the ballot for Madison County judge this November, but in the wake of his resignation as an assistant district attorney following an emergency response to his home, another candidate has launched a write-in campaign.

Rhonda Youngs, an attorney and law clerk for Madison County Supreme Court, announced Friday she was launching a write-in campaign for Madison County justice.

"Our citizens in Madison County deserve a judge who has unquestioned integrity," she said in an interview Friday.

Since his resignation, Moses has not said he is dropping out of the race. But on Friday, the county Republican and Conservative party leaders said they had rescinded their endorsement of Moses.

Madison County ADA resigns: What we know

Law enforcement responded July 30 to Moses' home in Nelson, where the Madison County Sheriff's Office said he was administered Narcan before being hospitalized. A report from the sheriff's office states an unidentified residue of a white powdery substance and marijuana were found at the scene.

Moses denied any illicit drug use, and said he had been ill from drinking alcohol as well as spending time outside in the heat. A copy of his hospital toxicology report he shared with the Observer-Dispatch stated a positive result for cannabinoids, which he did not dispute, and negative results for cocaine, opioids and phencyclidine.

Madison County District Attorney William Gabor said Moses agreed to resign early in the week following the incident. A statement on Moses' campaign website said he would be taking a medical leave from the District Attorney's office.

In a statement Friday, Moses said he had "received an outpouring of support from friends and community members who have urged me to stay in the race and who believe I am most qualified to serve as Madison County Judge."

More:Madison County assistant district attorney takes leave after 911 response: What we know

More:Madison County ADA Brad Moses resigns, denies illegal drug use claims

Who's on the 2022 ballot in Madison County?

Moses will be the only candidate for Madison County judge on the ballot this November, with his name under the Conservative and Republican party lines, Mary Egger, Republican Commissioner for the Madison County Board of Elections, confirmed Friday. Because all deadlines have passed to run on a party line, Moses' only competition would have to be from a write-in candidate, Egger said.

Youngs, 40, of Cazenovia, said she had been pursuing the office since last November and had been actively campaigning until Moses was endorsed by the Madison County Conservative and Republican parties in February.

Youngs currently works as principal law clerk for state Supreme Court Justice Patrick O'Sullivan, who previously held the county judge position before being elected to supreme court last year. She was also appointed an acting judge for the Village of Cazenovia last month, according to village Board of Trustees meeting minutes.

Prior to O'Sullivan's move to Supreme Court, Youngs worked as his court attorney in county court, and previously worked in private practice, she said.

On Friday, the county GOP rescinded their endorsement and announced their support of Youngs. Madison County Conservative Party Chair Chris Kendall said the party announced their rescindment of Moses' endorsement last week and had endorsed Youngs. Kendall said the decision stemmed from the allegations of Moses' drug consumption and behavior.

"We believed that we selected the best candidate when we endorsed Brad Moses," he said, later adding. "We made a large mistake and we need to rectify it."

Moses said Friday the rescinded endorsements were "made by both party leaders based on inaccurate information that was presented to them as facts," noting the toxicology report that showed no illicit drugs in his system.

"I have accepted responsibility for my unhealthy relationship with alcohol," he said in a statement, "and I am receiving the help needed to become a better person for my family and community."

H. Rose Schneider covers public safety, breaking and trending news for the Observer-Dispatch in Utica. Email Rose at hschneider@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Observer-Dispatch: Madison County ADA Brad Moses' resignation leads to write-in campaign