One of the most important elected positions on a local ballot in California is superior court judge -- though people don't always recognize it as an elected office, either because the vast majority of sitting judges go unchallenged when their term is due for re-election or because many off-term vacancies are filled by governor's appointment.
Voters in the Tri-Valley get an opportunity to have their voices heard on the makeup of the Alameda County Superior Court this fall when they elect the successor to retiring Judge Carol Brosnahan -- a runoff between the top two finishers from the three-candidate primary election.
And we view the attorney who finished first in March (with 41.18% of the vote at that time) as the best candidate to become Alameda County's next judge, Elena Condes.
Running on a platform to bring "experience, integrity and diversity to the bench," Condes will certainly represent those imperative attributes, and more, if elected.
Condes has worked for the past 26 years as a respected private criminal defense lawyer -- an integral role in the legal field but one that is truly underrepresented on the Alameda County Superior Court, where by far most judges come from either prosecution side or civil litigation. Coupling with her contrasting professional background will be her diverse perspective as a Latinx woman, lesbian and mother and as she told us earlier this fall, "this wonderfully diverse county … deserves a diverse court bench."
Her opponent on the Nov. 3 ballot, civil rights attorney Mark Fickes, also possesses a good variety of professional experience as a former prosecutor who now practices civil litigation and offers a different type of diverse personal perspective as he aims to become the first openly gay Jewish man on this county's bench.
But we prefer the candidacy goals -- both broad and specific -- cited by Condes during this campaign. Additionally, we were more convinced by her argument during our endorsement process, which speaks volumes given the nature of the position at stake.
With such a specialized elected position, it's also telling to us that more than 30 Alameda County Superior Court judges -- a remarkable majority of sitting judges in this court who have publicly endorsed a candidate in the campaign -- support Condes over Fickes.
We agree she should be elevated to join them as colleagues on the bench. Vote for Elena Condes for Alameda County Superior Court.