July 15, 2020
This responds to your inquiry (20-87) asking whether you may accompany your spouse, who is a candidate for elective public office, to an election night event to await primary results.
A judge who is not a candidate for election or re-election to judicial office within his/her window period is prohibited by the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct from attending political gatherings (see 22 NYCRR 100.5[A][g]; [A]). This prohibition applies to all political organizations and campaign committee gatherings held on behalf of judicial and non-judicial candidates.
Accordingly, you should not attend election evening events on behalf of any candidate which are sponsored by a political organization or a candidate’s campaign committee. However, if the candidate is sponsoring and paying personally for a post-election party and the event is unrelated to a political party or campaign committee, you may attend.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 99-149 which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice (Ret.)
Appellate Div., First Dep’t
Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice