Fourth candidate enters the race for judgeship in Allegan County

ALLEGAN COUNTY — A fourth candidate has joined an already crowded race for a newly created judgeship in Allegan County.

Emily Jipp, currently an assistant prosecutor for the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office, announced her candidacy on Thursday, Feb. 15.

A bill signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in December 2022 granted Allegan County's 48th Circuit Court and Kalamazoo County's Ninth Circuit Court each an additional judge. The bill was sponsored by State Sens. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo) and Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton).

The position in Allegan is up for election this year and the electee will take the bench Jan. 1, 2025.

Jipp was born and raised in Kentucky, earning her law degree in 2009. She spent time as a legal clerk, public defender and prosecutor before moving to Allegan County in 2016, according to her campaign website.

More: Three candidates file to run for judgeship in Allegan

She joined the Allegan County Prosecutor’s Office in 2016, handling juvenile delinquency cases, neglect and abuse proceedings, misdemeanors and felonies. Jipp also served as the prosecutor's representative for the county's mental health treatment court.

Jipp now works for the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office. She is the office’s representative for the county's sobriety treatment court and is communications chair for the county’s wellness committee.

“No other candidate has my variety of experience and deep commitment to the unbiased administration of justice,” Jipp wrote in a press release. “Having litigated as a prosecutor, defense attorney, civil attorney and family law practitioner in over 20 different courtrooms, I have keen insight into what can make the court process more trustworthy and efficient, and what pitfalls should be avoided.”

Jipp said running for judge is a chance to give back to the area she and her family call home.

Jipp is the fourth candidate to announce a run for the position. She joins family practice attorney Alice Bernal, assistant prosecutor Elizabeth Peterson and probate court administrator Jonathan Blair.

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The deadline for candidates to file is Tuesday, April 23.

Renovations are currently underway at the Allegan County Courthouse to make room for the seat. The work includes an addition, renovations to the existing space and converting vacant space.

— Contact reporter Mitchell Boatman at

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Fourth candidate enters the race for judgeship in Allegan County