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Ashley Judd Tweets She Won't Run For U.S. Senate

Ashley Judd watches Kentucky play Vanderbilt during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference tournament on March 15 in Nashville.
Dave Martin
/
AP
Ashley Judd watches Kentucky play Vanderbilt during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference tournament on March 15 in Nashville.

Actress Ashley Judd will not seek the Democratic nomination for Senate in Kentucky next year and challenge Republican Mitch McConnell, she announced Wednesday.

Using her Twitter account to end months of speculation, Judd wrote: "Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate."

Judd's potential candidacy as a liberal Democrat against the conservative Senate minority leader had been taken seriously enough that she was the target of a superPAC ad poking fun at her connections to states other than Kentucky, although she traces her roots in the state back generations.

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state, is expected to be among the Democrats seeking the Senate seat. McConnell will be seeking election to a sixth term next year.

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Greg Henderson
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  • Judd was thinking about challenging Sen. Mitch McConnell for his Kentucky seat in 2014. She had received national support from Democrats and a conservative super-PAC had already released an attack ad.
  • Some observers are wondering why American Crossroads, the Karl Rove-inspired superPAC, would bother to run a political attack ad against Hollywood star Ashley Judd, an outspoken supporter of President Obama who has said she's mulling a 2014 run against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
  • Could an actress and political activist with no electoral experience give the Senate's top Republican a race in very red Kentucky? It would be a long shot, say political experts, even though Judd has deep roots in the state, calling herself an "at least 8th generation Eastern Kentuckian."