Among the many decisions facing Tri-Valley voters on the November ballot is choosing who should replace long-time Judge Carol Brosnahan, who has served on the Alameda County Superior Court bench for more than 40 years.

The decision is not an easy one. Both are immensely qualified to serve on the bench and have received the endorsements of well-respected public figures. And each brings diversity to the court. Both are gay. Condes said she is the first Latinx to run for judge in Alameda County. Fickes is Jewish, active in his synagogue and in LGBTQ causes, and would become only the second openly gay judge on the court.

Both have similar priorities, according to their campaign statements. Each wants to increase the public’s access to the justice system. Condes wants to provide alternatives to jail. Fickes wants to expand drug and mental health courts.

Who gets our nod? Condes. Her history as a criminal defense lawyer – not a prosecutor – would bring a change to the court during a period when criminal justice reform is on people’s minds. And her endorsement list shows over 40 other judges from three different counties support her ascent to the bench, including Brosnahan.