2 lesbians win gavels

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Wednesday November 4, 2020
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Elena Condes, left, and Nancy de la Peña won judicial races. Photos: Courtesy the campaigns
Elena Condes, left, and Nancy de la Peña won judicial races. Photos: Courtesy the campaigns

Two LGBTQ attorneys battled for the gavel in the race for Alameda County Superior Court judge seat No. 2 and it looks like Elena Condes, a Latina lesbian, has won it.

According to preliminary results, Condes has 55.9% of the vote against Mark Fickes, a gay man, who has 43.6%, according to preliminary results.

Speaking to the Bay Area Reporter early November 4, Condes was reluctant to declare victory, though she said she was "grateful for the work people did on my campaign."

"There might be about half the votes left to be counted," Condes said. "We have a strong lead and it looks good and we are happy about that. It looks like only 300-something-thousand votes have been counted and hopefully, if the trends hold, we'll be successful."

Fickes, a partner at Cannata O'Toole Fickes & Olson, LLP, in San Francisco, and Condes, a criminal defense attorney, advanced to a runoff election after they were the top two vote-getters in the March primary. Condes had bested Fickes in that primary by 10,781 votes.

Fickes said he is not "ready to concede just yet."

"I think it's not quite ready to call yet," Fickes told the B.A.R. November 4. "The numbers are what they are, it looks like we have a 39,000-vote deficit. I don't know all the mathematics of it but it looks like about 33% of registered voters' votes have been counted, so I think it's a numerical possibility to make up the difference — I'm not ready to concede just yet — but yes I do recognize that the numbers are a bit daunting."

Santa Cruz gets lesbian judge

Meanwhile, in Santa Cruz County, attorney Nancy de la Pe�a will become the first LGBTQ judge there.

As the B.A.R. previously reported, de la Pe�a finished first in the March primary and the second-place finisher, defense attorney Annrae Angel, suspended her campaign.

Angel's name was still on the ballot, though she was trailing de la Pe�a, who had 70.8% to Angel's 29.1%, according to unofficial returns.

De la Pe�a, a lesbian married mother of two daughters, plans to start in the new position on January 4.

"I am extremely happy Santa Cruz now joins many counties in the state of California in having an LGBTQ+ judge," she told the B.A.R. November 4. "I am looking forward to serving the county of Santa Cruz."

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