Sometimes politics and life converge in ways that are just too weird.
Last week, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reported that former North Country Assembly candidate Rudy Johnson — a Democrat from Malone — had been busted on drug charges.
According to the Enterprise, Johnson “was allegedly found with 100 bags of crack cocaine in the hood of his clothing when police raided a Harlem apartment” late last month.
Johnson, you will remember, ran a respectable and feisty campaign for the 114th Assembly district seat in 2010, coming off well in a debate in Saranac Lake.
(Though my breathless reporting that Johnson had “a very real shot at capturing” a win that year was, in technical, journalistic terms, flat dead wrong.)
Now it has to be said first that the charges against Johnson are just that — charges. He is innocent until proven guilty. The Enterprise’s efforts to contact him to hear his side of the story have gone unanswered.
In fairness to the North Country’s Democratic Party, there’s also no evidence that Johnson continued to be active in regional politics since his defeat in 2010.
Finally, there are some big unanswered questions here. Johnson is 64 years old. And according to the Enterprise’s reporting, the two people arrested with him were ages 68 and 58. Hardly your typical drug ring.
If some part of the allegations here prove accurate, however, the case is deeply sad. Johnson seemed like an engaging, personable guy. As the Enterprise reports, he “campaigned vigorously in Saranac Lake, knocking on doors and attending local events…”
We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.