Report: Ashley Judd Eyes Senate Run

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 4 2012 10:57 AM

Have Democrats Finally Found Someone To Challenge Mitch McConnell?

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Ashley Judd and husband Dario Franchitti arrive at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 23, 2012

Photograph by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Also in Slate, Alyssa Rosenberg describes the three things Ashley Judd must do to be a serious candidate.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has had a relatively easy go of things in terms of winning re-election since he found his way to the Senate in 1984. While Democrats and their allies are expected to go after the five-term senator in 2014, they've so far been unable to attract a high-profile candidate to the race. Their best hope to change all that just may be Ashley Judd.

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Politico with the details:

The Hollywood movie star and eighth-generation Kentuckian is seriously exploring a 2014 run for the Senate to take on the powerful Republican leader, four people familiar with the matter tell POLITICO. In recent weeks, Judd has spoken with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) about the possibility of a run, has discussed a potential bid with a Democratic pollster and has begun to conduct opposition research on herself to see where she’s most vulnerable in the Bluegrass State, sources say.

While Judd is best known as an actress, she earned her masters in public administration from Harvard University in 2010, and has become increasingly vocal on progressive public-policy matters in recent years, from social issues to the environment. While those strengths may not be big sellers in Kentucky, there's no denying that she has much stronger name recognition than any of the other names being floated for a McConnell challenge. Her presence would also bring in even more outside cash to a race that is already expected to be one of the more high-profile battles of the cycle.