Ashley Judd and a Senate Run: Reportedly, She’s Serious

Politico  reports that Ashley Judd is serious about considering a run for Senate in Kentucky, possibly to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

Judd “is doing all the things that a serious candidate exploring a race
should do,” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) told Politico after speaking with
her. “I think there are a lot of people, and I was one of them, who
wanted to let her know that her candidacy would be an exciting prospect
for us. That’s what I wanted her to know. A lot of the labor unions,
they were telling me that too.”

Judd has been increasing her public profile: She was a delegate at the Democratic National Convention, and at an Emily’s List event, she indicated that she’s be interested in running for office. She’s been outspoken on women’s rights and the environment. Shortly after the 2008 election, she appeared in an ad for Defenders of Wildlife, criticizing then Gov. Sarah Palin’s policy for allowing aerial hunting of wolves. Of particular resonance in Judd’s native Kentucky is her opposition to mountaintop removal mining, which could be a flashpoint in coal country.
There’s a big gap between expressing interest in running and actually doing it. Val Kilmer explored a run for New Mexico governor, and even enlisted Washington consultants to help him explore a run, but he ultimately decided against it. Just that expression of interest triggered scrutiny from the New Mexico political press, and one of his potential opponents in a primary bolstered their case by lining up support from the below-the-line local in the state.
In Kentucky, it is almost certain that McConnell would attack her Hollywood connections, even though she lives in the state. When Nick Clooney, the father of George Clooney, ran for a Kentucky congressional seat in 2004, his opponent played up Clooney’s Hollywood connections, and the elder Clooney lost. But that was eight years ago, and as we learned from the most recent presidential campaign, attacks on the Hollywood elite don’t play like they used to.

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