Ashley Judd not running for Senate


Actress Ashley Judd addresses the crowd during the Tennesseans For Obama Benefit at The Cannery Ballroom on October 4, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. Her name has been thrown out as a possible contender for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's seat in 2014.


Rick Diamond

Ashley Judd will not be running to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The actress made the announcement via Twitter on Wednesday.

Rumors have been swirling since November that Judd, a Kentucky delegate at September's Democratic National Convention, was considering a bid against McConnell, the longest-serving senator in the state.

More from GlobalPost: Ashley Judd considered as challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

But POLITICO reported that several factors got in the actress's way, namely the fact that she now lives in Tennessee and that she has a lack of political experience, which would give a ruthless campaigner like McConnell a leg up.

With Judd out of the race, attention turned to Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. With high-profile Democrats like former President Bill Clinton trying to woo her into running for Senate, she is expected to be a much bigger threat to McConnell than Judd would have been.

Taking McConnell's seat would be a huge defeat for the Democrats in the 2014 election. His is one of 14 seats that Republicans are defending while the Democrats have 21 they want to keep in order to retain or add to their 55-45 edge.

Judd supporter and former State Treasurer Jonathan Miller said she would have made a strong candidate.

"As a Kentuckian and someone who was really enthusiastic about her as a candidate, this wasn't the news I was hoping for," Miller said. "But as her friend, from the first time we talked about the race last summer, I was very candid about the grueling nature of politics. It's become a very unpleasant business and running against Mitch McConnell would be an extraordinarily difficult and grueling experience."

While Judd understood that the task at hand was a serious one, she was still able to joke about her potential bid when she spoke at the American Counseling Association. She said that her mother, country singer Naomi Judd, couldn't wait to turn her garage into campaign headquarters.

If she had moved forward with her bid for Senate, Judd would have joined many other Hollywood stars who made the move to politics, including Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarznegger, Jesse Ventura, Clint Eastwood, Fred Thompson, Shirley Temple Black and Sony Bono.

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