Candidate for Judge - Alameda Superior Court, Office #2

Mark Fickes

Mark Fickes

Judge at Alameda Superior Court, Office #2

Gay Jewish prosecutor reimagined as civil rights attorney. Only has 1 dog.


TL;DR: Could probably be a judge if his opponent weren’t in the running


This is a county-level election. Mark Fickes lives in Oakland (Rockridge) with his husband and one dog; the couple have two kids. He serves on the board of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (a LGBT+ bar association) and served as President at Temple Beth Abraham.

Fickes’s career began as a prosecutor for Santa Clara County, before moving on to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (where he helped prosecute Apple for stock options backdating). Fickes is a partner at Cannata O’Toole Fickes & Olson and practices in Walnut Creek and San Francisco (but not Alameda County), focusing on Trials, Real Estate, Litigation, Fiduciary Law, and more.

Despite his professional website’s listed practice areas for himself, Fickes is on the ballot as a civil rights attorney. This discrepancy has drawn some pointed criticism.

For this election, League of Women Voters is hosting a candidate forum on October 8th at 6PM.

Notable supporters

While Fickes has endorsers, his endorsement list lacks both the breadth and depth of his opponent’s. Fickes has endorsements from two current, active Alameda County Superior Court judges, and an additional one retired Alameda County Superior Court judge, and from ten judges (active and retired) total. His opponent has over twice as many endorsements from judges just from those in Alameda County Superior Court.

Many of his more notable political endorsers who represent parts of Alameda County (Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Buffy Wicks, Alameda County Supervisors Keith Carson and Nate Miley) also endorsed Fickes’s opponent. Two of the remaining county supervisors endorsed Fickes’ opponent; the third supervisor is retiring. Interestingly, the two candidates vying for the open county supervisor role have drawn sides in this judicial election! Sheriff- and police-backed David Haubert (Mayor of Dublin) endorsed Fickes, while Democrat- and labor-endorsed Vinnie Bacon (Fremont Councilmember) endorses his opponent. Obviously endorsements aren’t transitive, so draw from that what you will.

Oakland-locally, Fickes is endorsed by Councilmembers Kalb and McElhaney (with Gallo, Taylor, and Thao endorsing his opponent). He’s also endorsed by District-7-hopeful Marchon Taton.


Eventual Judge: He may not have the best chances this time around but maybe he can use his campaign experience the next time an incumbent judge retires.

Bends with populist priorities: It’s hard to change things up when you’ve been pigeonholed into a role, but it feels not entirely honest for Fickes to describe his prosecutoral work as civil rights. What do you think? are we wrong on this? Let us know!