WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Actress and outspoken Democrat Ashley Judd is considering a Senate campaign against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in her home state of Kentucky.
Politico reports that Judd – who was a big supporter of President Barack Obama during his re-election campaign – has spoken with a series of Democrats and pollsters about mounting a campaign against the Senate Republican who will be up for a sixth term in 2014, and who is Kentucky’s longest-serving senator.
McConnell has been a fierce critic of Obama and said early in Obama’s first term that his top priority was to make sure the president wasn’t re-elected.
“She 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’s jump into the campaign race is still uncertain and a spokeswoman for the Golden Globe-nominated actress declined to comment aside from a statement that Judd issues in November: “I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I’m very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let’s focus on coming together to keep moving America’s families, and especially our kids, forward,” she said.
Judd is an eighth-generation Kentuckian whose Hollywood career has who has starred in such movies as “Kiss the Girls,” ”Double Jeopardy,” ”Where the Heart Is,” and “High Crimes.” She is married to three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti and is a regular spectator at the annual race.
However, Judd’s 85-year old grandmother and longtime Kentucky political activist is skeptical of the actresses’ political ambitions.
“I don’t think there’s any possibility of that happening,” Polly Judd told The Associated Press in a telephone interview last week from her home in the northeastern Kentucky city of Ashland.
“She’s a Hollywood liberal,” she told the AP of her granddaughter. “It would be interesting to see what type of race she would run.”