March 12, 1999
This is in response to your inquiry in which you ask whether it is permissible to announce your candidacy for the position of County Judge where the sitting County Judge has publicly stated that he is considering retiring from the bench. The present district attorney has stated that he would consider running to succeed the incumbent should there be a resignation.
In the view of the Committee, Opinion 97-45 (Vol. XV) in which the facts are almost identical with those set forth in your inquiry, is dispositive. As stated therein, a "candidacy can come into existence only if there is to be an election for that office. In the instant matter, there is at present, no vacancy in the office of County Court Judge, nor is it known that, in fact, a vacancy will occur" (emphasis in original). Here, too, there is at present no vacancy in the office of County Court Judge, and it is not presently known that there will be an election for that judicial office. Under such circumstances, it follows that you cannot yet be deemed a candidate for the elective position of County Judge. See also 22 NYCRR 100.0(A).