Primary Profiles 2018: Two seek Republican nomination for 4th District magistrate

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Editor’s note: This is the fourth  in a series of stories from The Advocate-Messenger looking at every contested local race on the May 22 primary ballots. Check back tomorrow for a look at another race.

Republicans Jason Cullen and Robert Earl Robinson are vying to be their party’s nominee for the 4th District magistrate seat in the May primary election.

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Neither have held office before; the winner of the primary election is slated to face incumbent Democrat Jack Hendricks in the November general election.

Jason Cullen

Jason Cullen is the owner of the Hub Coffee House Café on Main Street and a second Hub location that recently opened on Ponder Court.

Cullen said his “background is mostly in banking” — he worked for J.P. Morgan in its Private Wealth Management Division for about a decade. He’s originally from Delaware, but got transferred to Kentucky by J.P. Morgan.


“I was in Lexington and I was working for J.P. Morgan for a few years here. Then, they eliminated my job and I founded the Hub shortly after that,” he said.

Cullen said he loves living in Boyle County and the 4th District and has “a personal vested interest in this town succeeding and this county succeeding.”

“I see the county as not progressing in a good way,” he said. “Everything is caught up in the jail, the jail, the jail. And I understand we have a fiscal responsibility to the jail, but I think everything else that … makes this a great county is getting overshadowed, because no one is sticking up for it.”

Cullen listed better road repairs as one thing he thinks is needed. He’s also interested in improving relations between the county fiscal court and the City of Danville’s government.

“I think the city council and the county magistrates, they don’t really get along very well. I’ve been to several meetings and it doesn’t seem like a lot happens and it seems like there’s a lot of animosity between the two,” he said, calling disagreements between the governments “silly.”

Cullen said as magistrate, he would work to improve communication and cooperation with the city.

“I can be a leader, but I’m also a listener — that’s one of the things my employees like about me,” he said. “… I get my hands dirty, I talk to them and I understand that I don’t know all the answers, but I know how to get them.”

Cullen said his background as a small business owner would help him be effective as a magistrate.

“I understand every penny counts,” he said. “Watching every dollar is going to be vital.”

When trying to make a decision on a controversial issue, Cullen said he would attempt to listen to his constituents’ desires, then work with other magistrates to find “common ground.”

“When I go to these meetings, I want to go there with an agenda of getting stuff done, not just showing up, talking and shaking hands, whatever,” he said. “I want to see results … and all of those results need to be in the best interest of the county.”

Cullen recently stepped off of the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Robert Earl Robinson

Robert Earl Robinson has lived and worked in Boyle County for 29 years. He said he’s a small businessman who has been involved in numerous agricultural businesses, including when he worked at the old stockyards.

Robinson ran for magistrate in 2014, but lost in the Republican primary. Robinson said he’s encouraged by strong support this time and feels he has a good chance of winning.


He decided to run because “I wanted to see a change in the way things are going. I want there to be more accountability for what’s going on.”

“Things need to be changed every once in a while and I think it’d be a good time for change,” he said.

Robinson said he supports education and teachers. He promised not to vote for any tax increases and not to vote for any increase in the pay for magistrates. And he said he would work to get roads maintained better.

“I can’t make no promises because I’m not there, but I will try to help everybody on an equal basis and try to have common sense about things,” he said.

Robinson said he believes it’s possible to make the county “work better for the people” without raising taxes, which he said have gotten too high.

“People can only stand so much,” he said. “… We’re going to have to work with less.”

Robinson said while members of local government are all good people, at higher levels of government, there’s a problem.

“What’s happened to the government is people are out of touch with the people,” he said. “I’m just a regular working guy that’s trying to make things better.”

Robinson said dealing with issues of drug addiction will be something the fiscal court must tackle. “You might not want to talk about it, but it’s there.”

Robinson said if elected, he will do “anything to make life better for the working people” in Boyle County.

“I’ll vote my conscience and what’s best for the people overall,” he said. “… My district is going to come first, but I want to help the county any way I can.”


Boyle County’s 4th District is on the eastern end of the county. North of Danville, it starts on the east side of U.S. 127. It includes Ky. 33 between Danville and the Garrard County line; the Ky. 1805/Goggin Lane area; Ky. 52 between Danville and the Garrard County line; the Chrisman Lane area, and almost all of the county east of U.S. 150 south of Danville.