Can a Judicial Election Candidate change his/her name for the election?

In this Feb. 5, 2018 Chicago Tribue article it explains that you can.  Here is the article.  e

Polish man’s name didn’t work for judicial candidate, so now he’s Shannon O’Malley

Cook County judge candidate Phillip Spiwak changed his name to Shannon P. O’Malley.

Chicago Tribune

In the hit AMC shows “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” Bob Odenkirk plays Slippin’ Jimmy McGill, an Irish-American attorney who changes his name to the Jewish-sounding Saul Goodman to lend his business an air of legitimacy.

But if you’re running for judge in Cook County, history shows there’s no better name to have printed on the ballot than an Irish woman’s.

That appears to be the rationale behind the curious name switch adopted by the lawyer formerly known as Phillip Spiwak, a Schaumburg criminal defense and bankruptcy attorney who now goes by (say it with a brogue) Shannon P. O’Malley.

Spiwak unsuccessfully ran for judge in 2010 under his old name as a Republican candidate in Will County. He changed his name in 2012, according to the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Now he’s running as a Democrat under his new name for a vacancy in Cook County’s 13th judicial sub-circuit, which includes Schaumburg, Palatine, Wheeling, Hanover and Barrington.

O’Malley — whose name change was first reported by Injustice Watch — did not return calls seeking comment Monday. But there is longstanding evidence that the luck of the Irish does indeed apply in Chicago’s judicial elections. Since at least the 1980s, candidates for judge in Cook County have been taking Irish names to boost their chances at the polls; a 2011 DePaul University study found that having the only Irish woman’s name in a judicial race is worth more than a party slating.

A 2007 state law attempted to bring an end to the practice of candidates changing their names to gain an electoral advantage, by requiring them to disclose their previous names on the ballot. But it only applies to candidates who have changed their names within three years of the election, and therefore does not apply to O’Malley.

Alas, for O’Malley, the seat is routinely won by Republicans. In a down-ballot race in which voters typically vote strictly on party lines, his name change in unlikely to be enough. ’Tis a shame!


Special Committee on Judicial Campaign Election Intervention Appointments

By Order, the Supreme Court appointed the following individuals to the Special Committee on Judicial Campaign Election Intervention:

Hon. T. Kenneth Griffis, appointed by Chief Justice Waller

Hon. Ronald Doleac, appointed by Presiding Justice Randolph

William Walker, Jr, appointed by Presiding Justice Kitchens

Thomas A. Wicker, appointed by Justice Coleman

Everett T. Sanders, appointed by COA Presiding Judge Irving

Judicial Elections – Code of Judicial Conduct – Canon 5(F) – Special Committee

F. Special Committee–Proceedings and Authority. In every year in which an election is held for Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, chancery court, circuit court or county court judge in this state and at such other times as the Supreme Court may deem appropriate, a Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention (“Special Committee”) shall be created whose responsibility shall be to issue advisory opinions and to deal expeditiously with allegations of ethical misconduct in campaigns for judicial office. The committee shall consist of five (5) members. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; the senior justices of Supreme Court Districts 1, 2, and 3, excluding the Chief Justice; and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, shall each appoint one member. All members shall be attorneys licensed to practice in the state. No person shall be appointed to serve as a member of a Special Committee for the year in which such person is a candidate for judicial office. Should the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court expect to be a candidate for judicial office during the year for which a Special Committee is to be appointed the Chief Justice shall declare such expectation, and in such event, the appointment which otherwise would have been made by the Chief Justice shall be made by the next senior justice of the Supreme Court who is not otherwise charged with appointing authority under this Canon and not seeking judicial office in such year. Should a senior justice of Supreme Court Districts 1, 2, or 3, excluding the Chief Justice, expect to be a candidate for judicial office during such a year, the next senior justice of the same Supreme Court District who is not otherwise charged with appointing authority and is not seeking judicial office shall make the appointment. Likewise, should the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals expect to be a candidate for judicial office during such a year, the next senior judge of the Court of Appeals who is not seeking judicial office shall make the appointment. Any action taken by the Special Committee shall require a majority vote. Each Special Committee shall be appointed no later than February 1 in the year of their service, and it shall continue in existence for ninety (90) days following such judicial elections or for so long thereafter as is necessary to consider matters submitted to it within such time. The Commission shall provide administrative support to the Special Committee. Should any appointing authority fail to make an appointment, three members shall constitute a sufficient number to conduct the business of the Special Committee. The objective of the Special Committee shall be to alleviate unethical and unfair campaign practices in judicial elections, and to that end, the Special Committee shall have the following authority:

(1) Within ten (10) days of the effective date of this rule or within the ten (10) days after formally announcing and/or officially qualifying for election or re-election to any judicial office in this state, whichever is later, all candidates, including incumbent judges, shall forward written notice of such candidacy, together with an appropriate mailing address and telephone number, to the Commission. Upon receipt of such notice, the Special Committee shall, through the Commission, cause to be distributed to all such candidates by certified mail-return receipt requested copies of the following: Canon 5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct; summaries of any previous opinions issued by the Special Committee, Special Committees organized for prior elections, or the Supreme Court of Mississippi, which relate in any way to campaign conduct and practices; and a form acknowledgment, which each candidate shall promptly return to the Commission and therein certify that the candidate has read and understands the materials forwarded and agrees to be bound by such standards during the course of the campaign. A failure to comply with this section shall constitute a per se violation of this Section authorizing the Committee to immediately publicize such failure to all candidates in such race and to all appropriate media outlets. In the event of a question relating to conduct during a judicial campaign, judicial candidates, their campaign organizations, and all independent persons, committees and organizations are encouraged to seek an opinion from the Special Committee before such conduct occurs.

(2) Opinions as to the propriety of any act or conduct by a judicial candidate, a candidate’s campaign organization or an independent person, committee or organization conducting activities which impact on the election and as to the construction or application of Canon 5 may be provided by the Special Committee upon request from any judicial candidate, campaign organization or an independent person, committee or organization. If the Special Committee finds the question of limited significance, it may provide an informal opinion to the questioner. If, however, it finds the questions of sufficient general interest and importance, it may render a formal opinion, in which event it shall cause the opinion to be published in complete or synopsis form. Furthermore, the Special Committee may issue formal opinions on its own motion under such circumstances, as it finds appropriate. The Special Committee may decline to issue an opinion when a majority of the Special Committee members determine that it would be inadvisable to respond to the request and to have so confirmed in writing their reasoning to the person who requested the opinion. All formal opinions of the Special Committee shall be filed with the Supreme Court and shall be a matter of public record except for the names of the persons involved, which shall be excised. Both formal and informal opinions shall be advisory only; however, the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Supreme Court and all other regulatory and enforcement authorities shall consider reliance by a judicial candidate upon the Special Committee opinion in any disciplinary or enforcement proceeding.

(3) Upon receipt of a written allegation indicating a violation by a judicial candidate of any provision of Canon 5 during the course of a campaign for judicial office, or indicating actions by any person(s), committee(s) or organization(s) which are contrary to the limitations placed upon candidates by Canon 5, the Commission staff shall immediately forward a copy of the allegation by e-mail, and U.S. mail to the Special Committee members and the judicial candidate, and said Committee shall:

(a) in a manner which comports with due process, provide the candidate with a list of provisions he or she is accused of violating, and provide the candidate an opportunity to respond;

(b) seek, from the informing party and/or the subject of the information, such further information on the allegations as it deems necessary;

(c) conduct such additional investigation as the Committee may deem necessary;

(d) determine whether the allegations warrant speedy intervention and, if so, immediately issue a confidential cease-and-desist request to the candidate and/or organization or independent committee or organization believed to be engaging in unethical and/or unfair campaign practices. If the Committee determines that the unethical and/or unfair campaign practice is of a serious and damaging nature, the Committee may, in its discretion, disregard the issuance of a cease-and-desist request and immediately take action authorized by the provisions of paragraph (3)(e)(i) and (ii), hereafter described. If the allegations of the complaint do not warrant intervention, the Committee shall dismiss the same and so notify the complaining party.

(e) If a cease-and-desist request is disregarded or if the unethical or unfair campaign practices otherwise continue, the Committee is further authorized:

(i) to immediately release to all appropriate media outlets, as well as the reporting party and the person and/or organization against whom the information is submitted, a public statement setting out the violations believed to exist, or, in the case of independent persons, committees or organizations, the actions by an independent person, committee or organization which are contrary to the limitations placed upon candidates by Canon 5. In the event that the violations or actions have continued after the imposition of the cease and desist request, the media release shall also include a statement that the candidate and/or organization or independent person, committee or organization has failed to honor the cease-and-desist request, and

(ii) to refer the matter to the Commission on Judicial Performance or to any other appropriate regulatory or enforcement authority for such action as may be appropriate under the applicable rules.

(4) All proceedings under this Rule shall be informal and non-adversarial, and the Special Committee shall act on all requests within ten (10) days of receipt, either in person, by facsimile, by U.S. mail, or by telephone. In any event, the Special Committee shall act as soon as possible taking into consideration the exigencies of the circumstances and, as to requests received during the last ten (10) days of the campaign, shall act within thirty-six (36) hours.

(5) Except as herein specifically authorized, the proceedings of the Special Committee shall remain confidential, and in no event shall the Special Committee have the authority to institute disciplinary action against any candidate for judicial office, which power is specifically reserved to the Commission on Judicial Performance under applicable rules.

(6) The Committee shall after conclusion of the election distribute to the Commission on Judicial Performance copies of all information and all proceedings relating thereto.

(7) This Canon 5F shall apply to all candidates for judicial offices of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, chancery courts, circuit courts and county courts, be they incumbent judges or not, and to the families and campaign/solicitation committees of all such candidates. Persons who seek to have their name placed on the ballot as candidates for such judicial offices and the judicial candidates’ election committee chairpersons, or the chairperson’s designee, shall no later than 20 days after the qualifying date for candidates in the year in which they seek to run complete a two-hour course on campaign practices, finance, and ethics sponsored and approved by the Committee. Within ten days of completing the course, candidates shall certify to Committee that they have completed the course and understand fully the requirements of Mississippi law and the Code of Judicial Conduct concerning campaign practices for judicial office. Candidates without opposition are exempt from attending the course.


Provision is made for the Special Committee to issue opinions to judicial candidates. Ordinarily, absent extraordinary circumstances or statutory authority to the contrary, when a judge or candidate, relying on the opinion of the Special Committee, acts in accordance with the opinion and the opinion is based on a full disclosure of facts and circumstances, the judge or candidate will not be subject to disciplinary or enforcement action or liability.

Judicial Elections – Code of Judicial Conduct – Canon 5(B)-(E)

B. Candidates Seeking Appointment to Judicial or Other Governmental Office.

(1) Candidates for appointment to judicial office or judges seeking other governmental office shall not solicit or accept funds, personally or through a committee or otherwise, to support their candidacies.

(2) A candidate for appointment to judicial office or a judge seeking other governmental office shall not engage in any political activity to secure the appointment except that:

(a) such persons may:

(i) communicate with the appointing authority, including any selection or nominating commission or other agency designated to screen candidates;

(ii) seek support or endorsement for the appointment from organizations that regularly make recommendations for reappointment or appointment to the office, and from individuals to the extent requested or required by those specified in Section 5B(2)(a); and

(iii) provide to those specified in Sections 5B(2)(a)(i) and 5B(2)(a)(ii) information as to the candidate’s qualifications for the office;

(b) a non-judge candidate for appointment to judicial office may, in addition, unless otherwise prohibited by law:

(i) retain an office in a political organization,

(ii) attend political gatherings, and

(iii) continue to pay ordinary assessments and ordinary contributions to a political organization or candidate and purchase tickets for political party dinners or other political functions.


Section 5B(2) provides a limited exception to the restrictions imposed by Sections 5A(1) and 5D. Under Section 5B(2), candidates seeking reappointment to the same judicial office or appointment to another judicial office or other governmental office may apply for the appointment and seek appropriate support.

Although under Section 5B(2) non-judge candidates seeking appointment to judicial office are permitted during candidacy to retain office in a political organization, attend political gatherings and pay ordinary dues and assessments, they remain subject to other provisions of this Code during candidacy. See Sections 5B(1), 5B(2)(a), 5E and Application Section.

C. Judges and Candidates Subject to Public Election.

(1) Judges holding an office filled by public election between competing candidates, or candidates for such office, may, only insofar as permitted by law, attend political gatherings, speak to such gatherings in their own behalf while candidates for election or re-election, identify themselves as members of political parties, and contribute to political parties or organizations.


Section 5C recognizes the distinction between appropriate political activities by judges and candidates subject to non-partisan election and those subject to partisan elections. The language of Section 5C differs from that of corresponding provisions in the ABA Model Code, Sections C(1)(a)(ii) and (iii), in recognition of Mississippi’s non-partisan elections for certain positions. Furthermore, Section 23-15-973 et seq., Miss. Code Ann. (1972) imposes restrictions on candidates and political organizations to assure the non-partisan quality of judicial elections for Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Chancery Court, Circuit Court and County Court justices and judges. Section 5C(1) permits judges subject to election at any time to be involved in limited political activity. Section 5D, applicable solely to incumbent judges, would otherwise bar this activity. Section 5C(1)(b)(iv) of the ABA Mode Code has not been incorporated. Attending or speaking at a political party gathering in the judge’s own behalf while a candidate does not constitute alignments or affiliation with the party sponsoring the gathering.

(2) A candidate shall not personally solicit or accept campaign contributions or personally solicit publicly stated support. A candidate may, however, establish committees of responsible persons to conduct campaigns for the candidate through media advertisements, brochures, mailings, candidate forums and other means not prohibited by law. Such committees may solicit and accept reasonable campaign contributions, manage the expenditure of funds for the candidate’s campaign and obtain public statements of support for the candidacy. Such committees are not prohibited from soliciting and accepting reasonable campaign contributions and public support from lawyers. A candidate’s committees shall not solicit or accept contributions and public support for the candidate’s campaign earlier than 60 days before the qualifying deadline or later than 120 days after the last election in which the candidate participates during the election year. A candidate shall not use or permit the use of campaign contributions for the private benefit of the candidate or others.


There is legitimate concern about a judge’s impartiality when parties whose interests may come before a judge, or the lawyers who represent such parties, are known to have made contributions to the election campaigns of judicial candidates. Section 5C(2) recognizes that in many jurisdictions judicial candidates must raise funds to support their candidacies for election to judicial office. It therefore permits a candidate, other than a candidate for appointment, to establish campaign committees to solicit and accept public support and financial contributions. Though not prohibited, campaign contributions of which a judge has knowledge, made by lawyers or others who appear before the judge, may, by virtue of their size or source, raise questions about a judge’s impartiality and be cause for disqualification as provided under Section 3E.

Campaign committees established under Section 5C(2) should manage campaign finances responsibly, avoiding deficits that might necessitate post-election fund-raising, to the extent possible. Such committees must at all times comply with applicable statutory provisions governing their conduct.

Section 5C(2) does not prohibit a candidate from initiating an evaluation by a judicial selection commission or bar association, or, subject to the requirements of this Code, from responding to a request for information from any organization.

(3) Candidates shall instruct their campaign committees at the start of the campaign not to accept campaign contributions for any election that exceed those limitations placed on contributions by individuals, political action committees and corporations by law.


The ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct is drafted for the insertion of specific limits on contributions for judicial campaigns. As adopted for Mississippi, this section simply makes references to limits established by the Legislature by statutes which limit contributions to $5,000 in appellate court races, to $2,500 in chancery, circuit or county court races, and generally limits corporate contributions to $1,000. See Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-1021 (2000 Supp.) (judicial races) and Miss. Code Ann. § 97-13-15 (1999 Supp.) (corporate contributions.)

(4) A candidate and the candidate’s committee shall timely comply with all provisions of law requiring the disclosure and reporting of contributions, loans and extensions of credit.


Section 5C(4) of the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct which makes special provision for reporting campaign contributions is replaced by the foregoing Section 5C(4) which requires compliance with all provisions of law. See Miss. Code Ann. §§ 23-15-805 and 23-15-1023 (2000 Supp.)

The ABA Model Code includes a Section 5C(5) which approves, under some circumstances, a judicial candidate’s name being listed on election materials along with the names of other candidates. This has not been incorporated in the revision of the Mississippi canons.

D. Incumbent Judges. A judge shall not engage in any political activity except as authorized under any other Section of this Code, on behalf of measures to improve the law, the legal system or the administration of justice, or as expressly authorized by law.


Neither Section 5D nor any other section of the Code prohibits a judge in the exercise of administrative functions from engaging in planning and other official activities with members of the executive and legislative branches of government. With respect to a judge’s activity on behalf of measures to improve the law, the legal system and the administration of justice, see Commentary to Section 4B and Section 4C(1) and its Commentary.

Sections 5A through 5D limit the participation of judges and candidates in political activities. Section 5D expressly prohibits judges from engaging “in any political activity” not expressly authorized by the Code of Judicial Conduct or by law. These provisions do not prohibit voting in party primaries and general elections, which is not “political activity” as the phrase is used in Canon 5. The statute governing non-partisan judicial elections, while prohibiting candidates for judicial offices covered by the statute from campaigning or qualifying for the offices based on party affiliation, does not preclude the candidates from voting in party primaries. Miss. Code Ann. § 23-25-973 (Supp. 2000.)

E. Applicability. Canon 5 generally applies to all incumbent judges and judicial candidates. Successful candidates, whether or not incumbents, are subject to judicial discipline for their campaign conduct; unsuccessful candidates who are lawyers are subject to lawyer discipline for their campaign conduct. Lawyers who are candidates for judicial office are subject to Rule 8.2(b) of the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct. However, the provisions of Canon 5F below shall not apply to elections for the offices of justice court judge and municipal judge.

Judicial Elections – Code of Judicial Conduct – Canon 5(A)

A Judge or Judicial Candidate Shall Refrain
From Inappropriate Political Activity

A. All Judges and Candidates

(1) Except as authorized in Sections 5B(2), 5C(1) and 5C(2), a judge or a candidate for election to judicial office shall not:

(a) act as a leader or hold an office in a political organization;

(b) make speeches for a political organization or candidate or publicly endorse a candidate for public office;

(c) solicit funds for or pay an assessment or make a contribution to a political organization or candidate, attend political gatherings, or purchase tickets for political party dinners, or other political functions.


A judge or candidate for judicial office retains the right to participate in the political process as a voter.

Where false information concerning a judicial candidate is made public, a judge or another judicial candidate having knowledge of the facts is not prohibited by Section 5A(1) from making the facts public.

Section 5A(1)(a) does not prohibit a candidate for elective judicial office from retaining during candidacy a public office such as county prosecutor, which is not “an office in a political organization.”

Section 5A(1)(b) does not prohibit judges or judicial candidate from privately expressing their views on judicial candidates or other candidates for public office.

A candidate does not publicly endorse another candidate for public office by having that candidate’s name on the same ticket. However, Sections 23-15-973 et seq., Miss. Code Ann. (1972) impose restrictions on candidates and political organizations to assure the non-partisan quality of judicial elections for Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Chancery Court, Circuit Court and County Court justices and judges.

(2) A judge shall resign from judicial office upon becoming a candidate either in a party primary or in a general election for a non-judicial office, except that the judge may continue to hold judicial office while being a candidate for election to or serving as a delegate in a state constitutional convention if the judge is otherwise permitted by law to do so.

(3) A candidate for a judicial office:

(a) shall maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office and act in a manner consistent with the integrity and independence of the judiciary, and shall encourage members of the candidate’s family to adhere to the same standards of political conduct in support of the candidate as apply to the candidate;


Although judicial candidates must encourage members of their families to adhere to the same standards of political conduct in support of the candidates that apply to the candidates, family members are free to participate in other political activity. Family members are not prohibited by this subsection from serving on the candidates’ campaign committees and otherwise actively involving themselves in the campaigns.

(b) shall prohibit employees and officials who serve at the pleasure of the candidate, and shall discourage other employees and officials subject to the candidate’s direction and control, from doing on the candidate’s behalf what the candidate is prohibited from doing under the Sections of this Canon;

(c) except to the extent permitted by Section 5C(2), shall not authorize or knowingly permit any other person to do for the candidate what the candidate is prohibited from doing under the Sections of this Canon;

(d) shall not:

(i) make pledges or promises of conduct in office other than the faithful and impartial performance of the duties of the office;

(ii) make statements that commit or appear to commit the candidate with respect to cases, controversies or issues that are likely to come before the court; or

(iii) knowingly misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent;


Section 5A(3)(d)(i) prohibits a candidate for judicial office making pledges or promises to decide cases in any particular way and statements committing the candidate with respect to cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court on which the candidate will serve if elected. This section does not prohibit or limit a candidate’s freedom to announce the candidate’s current views on issues so long as the announcement does not bind the candidate to maintain those views after election. See Republican Party of Minn. v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002) (declaring unconstitutional restrictions in the Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct on the announcement of views on legal and political issues.) The comparable offending language, referred to as the “announce clause”, formerly appeared in our Code of Judicial Conduct, but was removed with the revision of the code on April 4, 2002. This Section does not prohibit an incumbent judge from making private statements to other judges or court personnel in the performance of judicial duties.

Section 5A(3)(d)(ii) prohibits a candidate for judicial office making statements that appear to commit the candidate regarding cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court. As a corollary, a candidate should emphasize in any public statement the candidate’s duty to uphold the law regardless of the candidate’s personal views. See also Section 3B(9), the general rule on public comment by judges. Section 5A(3)(d) does not prohibit a candidate from making pledges and promises respecting improvements in court administration.

Section 5A(3)(d) applies to any statement made in the process of securing judicial office, such as statements to commissions charged with judicial selection and tenure and legislative bodies confirming appointment. See also Rule 8.2 of the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct. Phrases such as “tough on crime,” “soft on crime,” “pro-business,” “anti-business,” “pro-life,” “pro-choice,” or in any similar characterizations suggesting personal views on issues which may come before the courts, when applied to the candidate or an opponent, may be considered to be prohibited by Section 5A(3)(d) only when used in a context which contain a pledge or promise to decide cases in a particular manner.

(e) may respond to personal attacks or attacks on the candidate’s record as long as the response does not violate Section 5A(3)(d).

Judicial Elections – Code of Judicial Conduct – Definitions

“Candidate.” A candidate is a person seeking selection for judicial office by election or appointment. Persons become candidates for judicial office as soon as they make public announcements of candidacy, declare or file as candidates with the election or appointment authority, or authorize solicitation or acceptance of contributions or support. The term “candidate” has the same meaning when applied to a judge seeking election or appointment to non-judicial office. See Preamble and Canon 5.

. . .



“Independent persons, committees or organizations” shall mean an individual person or organization not required to report as affiliated with a campaign for judicial office. See Section 5F.

. . .

“Law” denotes court rules as well as statutes, constitutional provisions and decisional law. See Sections 2A, 3A, 3B(2), 3B(7), 4B, 4C, 4F, 4I, 5A(2), 5A(3), 5B(2), 5C, 5D, and 5F.

“Major donor”, for the purposes of Section 3E(2), shall be defined as follows:

(a) If the donor is an individual, “donor” means that individual, the individual’s spouse, or the individual’s or the individual’s spouse’s child, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, employee and employee’s spouse.

(b) If the donor is an entity other than an individual, “donor” means the entity, its employees, officers, directors, shareholders, partners members, and contributors and the spouse of any of them.

(c) A “major donor” is a donor who or which has, in the judge’s most recent election campaign, made a contribution to the judge’s campaign of (a) more than $2,000 if the judge is a justice of the Supreme Court or judge of the Court of Appeals, or (b) more than $1,000 if the judge is a judge of a court other than the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals.

(d) The term “contribution to the judge’s campaign” shall be the total of all contributions to a judge’s campaign and shall be deemed to include all contributions of every kind and type whatsoever, whether in the form of cash, goods, services, or other form of contribution, and whether donated directly to the judge’s campaign or donated to any other person or entity for the purpose of supporting the judge’s campaign and/or opposing the campaign of the judge’s opponent(s). The term “contribution to a judge’s campaign” shall also be deemed to include any publication, advertisement or other release of information, or payment therefor, other than a bona fide news item published by existing news media, which contains favorable information about the judge or which contains unfavorable information about the judge’s opponent(s).

“Member of the candidate’s family” denotes a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, siblings, or other relative or person with whom the candidate maintains a close familial relationship. See Section 5A(3)(a).

. . .

“Political organization” denotes a political party or other group, the principal purpose of which is to further the election or appointment of candidates to political office. See Sections 5A(1).

“Public election.” This term includes primary and general elections; it includes partisan elections and nonpartisan elections. See Section 5C.


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