The Judicial Qualifications Commission has been asked for an advisory Opinion as to whether a Judge who is a candidate for re-election can:
1. Accept a complimentary ticket and attend a political party, or
2. If the price of the ticket is adjusted to cover the cost of the meal only, without including any contribution to the political party, may he then attend?
Rule 4.1(A)(3) provides that a candidate for a judicial office shall not solicit funds, pay an assessment or make a contribution to a political organization or purchase tickets for political party dinners or other functions except as authorized in subsection (B) which provides as follows:
(B) Judges and judicial candidates holding an office filled either by retention election or by public election between competing candidates may attend political gatherings and speak to such gatherings on their own behalf when they are candidates for election or re-election.
Since the foregoing clearly authorizes a judicial candidate to attend political party gatherings, the first question is answered in the affirmative provided the complimentary ticket donated to the judicial candidate is reported as a campaign contribution, if required by law. For the same reason, the second question is also answered in the affirmative.
[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Rule 3.7(A)(1), 3.11, 4.1(A), 4.1(B), 4.2(A), 4.2(B). Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #1, #23, #36, #55, #56, #81, #90, #108, #118, #124, #141, #147, #165, #167, #191.]