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Opinion 27

The Commission has been requested to render an opinion concerning whether the wife of a candidate for judicial office should resign her position on a county political committee. Canons 7(A)(1)(a)(b), and (c) provide that:

(1) A Judge or a candidate for election to judicial office should not: (a) act as a leader or hold any office in a political organization; (b) make speeches for a political organization or candidate or publicly endorse a candidate for public office; (c) solicit funds for or pay an assessment or make a contribution to a political organization or candidate, attend political gatherings, or purchase tickets for political party dinners, or other functions, except as authorized in subsection A(2).

Canon 7(B)(1)(a) provides:

(1) A candidate, including an incumbent judge, for a judicial office that is filled either by public election between competing candidates or on the basis of a merit system election: (a) should maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office, and should encourage members of his family to adhere to the same standards of political conduct that apply to him.

In view of the requirements of Canon 7(A)(l)(a), (b), and (c), and of Canon 7(B)(1)(a) the Commission concludes that the wife of a candidate for judicial office should not serve on a county political committee. It would not be appropriate for the candidate himself to do so, and under the Code of Judicial Conduct (Canon 7(B)), the candidate “should encourage members of his family to adhere to the same standards of political conduct that apply to him.”

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Canons 7(A)(l), 7(B)(1), 7(B)(2). Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #58, #147, #163, #191.]

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