Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 4, 2013

Judge starts new era on bench

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — A festive spirit seemed to fill a packed courtroom in Pauls Valley as a new Garvin County judge was sworn into office this week.

It’s now official for longtime PV attorney Steve Kendall as a brief ceremony Thursday afternoon has kicked off his tenure as the county’s new associate district judge.

Heartfelt comments, some tugging at the emotions, came moments after Kendall was sworn into his office by District Judge Greg Dixon.

There were plenty to watch this new era on the courtroom bench begin as Kendall was surrounded by his family, many of his judicial predecessors, a number of judges from throughout the region, all donning their black robes, and a standing-room audience.

“As this capacity courtroom suggests I’m a man who’s blessed with many friends,” Kendall said.

“I believe your friendship and encouragement makes me a better man and hopefully a better judge,” he said.

“There’s nothing I can do to repay the confidence you have in me except by being the best judge that I can be.”

It was only days ago Kendall was appointed to the associate district judge’s office by Gov. Mary Fallin as the replacement to the now retired John Blake.

During his brief address Kendall offered his thanks to a number of people with maybe the biggest nod going to the big guy upstairs.

“I want to give thanks to God for as long as I draw a breath of life,” he said.

There were plenty of others, including Kendall’s family and all of those here in Pauls Valley who have helped him get to this point in his life.

Kendall’s was joined by his wife Shari and their three children during the ceremony that swore in the new judge.

“I’m very proud,” Shari said.

“I think he’ll make a great judge.”

Also showing a few smiles for their dad’s big day were daughters MacKenzie, 16, and Claire, 13, as they also helped out with their little brother, Alex, who’s not far away from being 4.

“It’s well deserved,” said MacKenzie about her father’s accomplishment, while Claire added, “I’m just excited.”

With the appointment and now sworn into office, Kendall is set to serve out the last year left on Blake’s term before it’s scheduled to go back on the voting ballot.