Rhonda Youngs Wins Madison County Judge with Write-In Campaign
The only thing that may be more surprising that an Election Day win from a write-in candidate maybe the staggering amount of a bi-partisan support she received.
Rhonda Youngs launched a write-in campaign for Madison County Court Judge and appears to have won a term on the bench by a whopping 74% to 26% margin. Youngs' impromptu campaign began shortly after the only official candidate on the ballot found himself mired in controversy stemming from an overdose from the deadly drug fentanyl.
The late July incident led to Bradley Moses, then an Assistant DA in the Madison County District Attorney's Office and candidate, being revived with the help of the drug Narcan in his own home. A subsequent toxicology exam revealed alcohol, marijuana and fentanyl in his system, officials said. Moses resigned from the prosecutor's office but refused to back-out of the election race for county court judge, despite leaders of the Republican and Conservative parties publicly saying they were no longer supporting his candidacy.
Madison County GOP Chairman Todd Rouse had called the party's previously endorsed candidate, Moses, unfit following the news of an overdose and subsequent finding of fentanyl in his system.
“There was broad consensus among the Republican Committee that Brad Moses is unfit to serve as County Judge. We are thoroughly disappointed in his behavior and actions – both in terms of the life-threatening situation and his refusal to remove his name from the ballot," Rouse said this fall. "We are proudly backing Rhonda Youngs in a write-in campaign and will work our tails off from now through November 8th to ensure her election as Madison County Judge.”
Of the nearly 22,000 votes cast, including early voting and Election Day, more than 16,000 were ballots with a write-in name (almost 75%) - according to the Madison County Board of Elections.
Youngs also becomes the first woman elected to the position of judge in Madison County, officials say. She is currently serving as an associate judge in the village of Cazenovia.