Grant Superior Judge Dana Kenworthy has been named the newest judge of the Court of Appeals of Indiana, giving the appellate court a female majority for the first time in its history.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday announced Kenworthy as his choice to succeed now-Justice Derek Molter on the Court of Appeals. Kenworthy will join the appellate court after nearly 13 years on the Grant Superior Court 2 bench.
“The law was written for people in their daily lives, and court decisions have real human impact,” Kenworthy said at the Wednesday announcement of her appointment. “I will bring those experiences and faces with me … and will work hard to be worthy of the privilege of serving in that capacity. I’m really excited to get started.”
Holcomb selected Kenworthy from a trio of finalists that also included Hamilton Circuit Judge Paul Felix and attorney Carol Joven of Williams & Piatt LLC. A total of 12 candidates applied for the appellate court vacancy, which opened up when Molter was elevated to the Indiana Supreme Court.
Born and raised in Amboy, a Miami County town of 319 people, Kenworthy earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice from Ball State University and her J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
She worked as a Grant County deputy prosecutor from May 2001 until April 2010, when she was appointed to the Grant Superior Court as a judge pro tempore, according to her judicial application. She was officially elected judge in 2012 and has served as the elected judge of Grant Superior Court 2 since then.
Kenworthy will join seven other women judges on the COA — Elaine Brown, Melissa May, Patricia Riley, Margret Robb, Elizabeth Tavitas, Nancy Vaidik and Leanna Weissmann — bringing the total number of female judges to eight. Her appointment marks the first time the 15-member court has ever had a female majority.
Holcomb described Kenworthy as contagiously positive, endlessly energetic and dedicated to her work.
“To say that I was hopeful we would meet again is really an understatement,” Holcomb said, referencing Kenworthy’s bid earlier this year to join the Indiana Supreme Court.