Kevin Mark swears in Brad Anderson

Judge Kevin Mark swears in Goodhue County Commissioner Brad Anderson in 2019. Mark, the county's senior judge, will become the First Judicial District's chief judge in July 2021. Rachel Fergus/ Republican Eagle

Red Wing native leads First Judicial District

Kevin Mark has been elected chief judge of Minnesota’s First Judicial District. The district’s 35 judges choose two leaders from their membership every two years.

His term as chief judge will begin on July 1, 2021. The new assistant chief judge will be Caroline Lennon.

Mark, a Red Wing native whose chambers are in the Goodhue County Justice Center, was appointed to the First Judicial District bench in January 2003.

Before serving as a judge, he spent eight years as sole practitioner and 16 years as an attorney at Holst, Vogel, Erdmann and Vogel in Red Wing.

“I’m gratified by the confidence shown by my colleagues in the First District,” Mark said. “We’ve been blessed with great leadership in our district, and I hope to continue that legacy. I look forward to working with Judge Lennon and all my fellow judges, the court staff, and our justice partners in the coming term.”

Lennon also was elected to serve a two-year term. She joined the bench in November 2008, previously spending 18 years as an assistant Hennepin County attorney in Minneapolis, and being appointed as special assistant county attorney in Ramsey, Dakota, Washington, and Scott counties on individual cases. Lennon has chambers in the Scott County Justice Center in Shakopee.

According to state statute, the chief judge of a judicial district exercises general administrative authority over the courts within the district, including assigning judges to serve in locations throughout the district. The chief judge of each judicial district also serves as a member of the administrative policy-making authority for the Minnesota Judicial Branch, the Minnesota Judicial Council.

Mark has a full and broad history of community involvement and leadership, having served on the Red Wing School Board 1985-2003, including as president; Red Wing Joint Powers Board, past chair; Hedin-Hartnagel Memorial Fund Board, past chair; Minnesota State High School League; Red Wing United Way, past fund drive chair and volunteer legal counsel; Red Wing Kiwanis Club; First Lutheran Church of Red Wing.

No judge may serve as chief judge or assistant chief judge for more than two consecutive two-year terms.

Mark succeeds Chief Judge Kathryn Messerich. Lennon succeeds David Knutson.

Goodhue County Justice Center also has changes for Judges Doug Bayley and Patrick Biren.

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