July 27, 2021
This responds to your inquiry (21-102) asking if you must resign from both part-time judicial positions you currently hold, on announcing your candidacy for an elective non-judicial position.
A sitting judge must resign from judicial office upon becoming a candidate for elective non-judicial office either in a primary or in a general election (see 22 NYCRR 100.5[B]). Under the Rules, a “candidate” is “a person seeking selection for or retention in public office by election,” whether or not they have secured a political party’s nomination (22 NYCRR 100.0[A]; see e.g. Opinions 17-43; 98-23). Further, “[a] person becomes a candidate for public office as soon as he or she makes a public announcement of candidacy, or authorizes solicitation or acceptance of contributions” (22 NYCRR 100.0[A]).
It is your judicial status that gives rise to the prohibition against political activities, regardless of geographical location. Thus, you must resign from all judicial offices on announcing your candidacy or otherwise becoming a candidate for election to non-judicial office, whether or not the office(s) are in the same municipalities.
For your convenience, we enclose Opinions 17-43, 98-23, and 91-06.
Very truly yours,
Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice
Acting Supreme Court Justice