It's rare that WIBX or its morning show endorses a candidate for an election - but the race for Madison County Judge has been plagued by a very unique circumstance.

The back story in this election is sad, but it must be dealt with absent emotion, because public servants such as judges, must be held to the highest standard.

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Former Madison County Assistant District Attorney Brad Moses is the only candidate on the ballot for this Madison County Judge position. Rhonda Youngs is running as a write-in candidate.

On July 30th, emergency crews were called to Moses' home where he and another person allegedly overdosed on illegal drugs. Authorities say, first responders used multiple doses of Narcan to revive the men, who were then transported to a nearby hospital.

Following the incident, Moses denied using any illegal drugs but a toxicology report released later confirmed that Fentanyl was in his bloodstream at the time of the overdose. He resigned as a member of the Madison County District Attorney's Office but refused to remove himself from the ballot for the judgeship.

The Republican and Conservative parties rescinded their endorsement of Moses over the summer. Youngs now holds the unprecedented and distinct privilege of being endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Democratic parties.

Here's what the Madison County Republican and Conservative Chairs have said about this election.

Madison County Republican Chairman Todd Rouse said, “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. 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.”

The Madison County Conservative Party Chairman Chris Kendall said, “Rhonda Youngs is a person of character and integrity, which is exactly what we need in our new Madison County Judge. Brad Moses’s behavior is abhorrent and dishonorable in every way. He was already removed from his position as Assistant District Attorney. I cannot fathom he believes it is acceptable to take office as County Judge. I’m imploring Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to unite to ensure that Rhonda Youngs is elected this November.”

It should be clear to anyone voting in this election, that a judge who presides over a "three hat" court, handling County Court (criminal matters), Family Court, and Surrogate’s Court, must be of sound mind and with the highest integrity. It's essential that we hold the people who we trust to make legal judgments of our fellow citizens, to a higher standard.

WIBX's First News with Keeler in the Morning is endorsing Rhonda Youngs in this election because it would be improper and nearly impossible for Brad Moses to sit in judgment of anyone who comes into this Madison County Courtroom. Furthermore, Youngs is more than just a replacement for Moses, she is significantly qualified for the job after spending years as an effective attorney, as a Supreme Court attorney, and as a member of the Committee on Character & Fitness for the Third Judicial Department in the Sixth Judicial District, helping to investigate and assess applicants seeking admission to the New York State Bar. It almost seems fitting, based on her resume', that Youngs becomes the judge in this court at this time, considering the circumstances.

Furthermore, this particular election should not permanently exclude Moses from public service. We're a forgiving society, and once he is able to get his personal and legal matters under control, he should certainly be welcome to once again ask for the public's confidence to be considered for public office. Until then, however, it is our opinion that he is currently unfit for office.

Understandably, it is no easy feat to elect someone in a write-in campaign when another person is already on the ballot. However, it can be done and we feel should be done in this case. We ask that the people of Madison County take the extra few minutes to educate themselves on casting a write-in vote, and in particular, to write in a vote for Rhonda Youngs during early voting, or on Election Day, November 8th.

Finally, if elected, Rhonda Youngs would become the first-ever female judge in Madison County. While this is an impressive and important historic notation, setting gender aside, she should simply be considered a highly qualified candidate who will uphold the law and the integrity of the office.


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