Opinion 74-11
August 20, 1974

Re: Canon 7

Dear Judge

Reference is made to your letter of August 1, 1974, wherein you state you are a candidate for reelection as a Circuit Judge, Judicial Circuit, and without opposition. Further, that you, along with other judicial candidates in the Circuit have been invited to attend "Political Fair" designated as "Old Fashioned American as Apple Pie Political Fair."

You ask if the Code of Judicial Conduct permits you and other candidates in the| Judicial Circuit to participate in this "Fair."

The Committee on Standards of Judicial Conduct, with one dissenting, find no impropriety in your attendance at this particular gathering. Further, the Committee finds nothing in the language of Canon 7, or Section l05.071 FSA, which would preclude a judicial officer from attending the "fair" described in your letter.

This event being sponsored by League of Women Voters, Chamber of Commerce, County Council of PTA, Council of Neighborhood Associations, Junior League of , Jaycees, Democratic Party, Republican Party, Times, is designed as a non partisan political gathering to acquaint the voters with the incumbents and candidates for state and county offices

You raise the further question of whether you could attend as a "private citizen" rather than as a judge or judicial candidate. May we point out to you that once an individual occupies a judicial office, or becomes a candidate for judicial office, he can no longer separate his public position from his private status. He cannot avoid the strictures of the Code of Judicial Conduct by attempting to place himself in a "private citizen status." He is a judge or judicial candidate at all times.

/S/GUNTER STEPHENSON, as
Chairman, Committee on Standards of
Judicial Conduct

GS:jss
cc: Committee members