Mark Gaines (born November 17, 1955 in Birmingham) was Probate Judge (Place 1) for Jefferson County Probate Court with responsibility over probate cases and county elections. He was appointed to his position on January 18, 2005 by Governor Bob Riley to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Mike Bolin, who now sits on the Alabama Supreme Court. He lost his re-election bid to that seat in 2006.
Gaines, a Homewood resident, was previously a member of the Alabama House of Representatives from Alabama House District 46 (redistricted in 2002 from Alabama House District 47) first elected in 1990. He ran unopposed in the next three elections.
Gaines is a 1974 graduate of Vestavia Hills High School. He earned his bachelor's degree at Auburn University in 1979 and his Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law in 1985 while working as a legal clerk for Circuit Judge James Hard and pursuing his own real-estate development and management business.
In 1986 Gaines opened his own legal practice, specializing in real estate, probate and small business law. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1990 and ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for Jefferson County Probate Judge, Place 2 in 2000 and Place 1 in 2006. Unlike his predecessors, Gaines did not recuse himself from the canvassing board which reviewed the election even though his name was on the ballot, saying "My race wasn't close enough to make a difference." (Coman - November 14, 2006)
Gaines and his wife, Patti have three children. They are members of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Homewood.
|Jefferson County Probate Judge, Place 1
2005 - 2006
|Representative, Alabama House District 46
1990 - 2005
- Press Office, Office of the Governor, State of Alabama. (January 18, 2005) "Governor Riley Appoints Mark Gaines Jefferson County Probate Judge" - accessed October 25, 2006
- Archibald, John (October 10, 2006) "Judge race a real-life reality show." The Birmingham News
- Walton, Val (October 26, 2006) "Gaines says experience makes him best choice." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D (November 8, 2006) "King unseats Gaines to lead probate court." The Birmingham News
- Coman, Victoria L. (November 14, 2006) "Gaines says ruling allows him to remain, despite defeat." The Birmingham News