Ashley Judd doesn't rule out run for U.S. Senate

Roger Alford/Associated Press, Published:

(AP) — Actress Ashley Judd isn't ruling out a run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

Democrats have been promoting Judd, a former Kentuckian now living in Tennessee, as a challenger to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

In a statement Friday, Judd, a Democratic political activist, sidestepped the question of whether she would re-establish a residence in Kentucky and run against McConnell.

"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, a regular at University of Kentucky basketball games and the Kentucky Derby, 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 an annual spectator at the race.

So far, no Democrats have stepped forward to challenge McConnell, a political powerhouse in his home state who already has $6.8 million in the bank for his re-election campaign.

Even so, the Louisville Republican is certain to be targeted again by Democrats, just as he was in 2008 when he won re-election to a fifth term and gained the distinction of being Kentucky's longest serving senator. McConnell spent some $20 million on his last election, beating Democrat Bruce Lunsford, a wealthy Kentucky businessman, by 6 percentage points.

The McConnell campaign was complimentary of Judd on Friday, but critical of Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville who was the first to publicly tout Judd as a candidate.

"Sen. McConnell and his wife are big fans of Ashley Judd's movies and appreciate her energy, especially when it comes to bringing young people into the political process," said McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton.

"Most of this speculation is being stirred up by John Yarmuth, who appears to have an unhealthy obsession with Sen. McConnell that may impress the Obama crowd in D.C., but sure doesn't help Kentucky. If Mr. Yarmuth would like to try his luck in a U.S. Senate race, we'll be happy to pay his filing fee, but until then, the senator will be focusing on the people of Kentucky rather than entertaining the congressman's interest in his election."

McConnell sparked a Republican revival in Kentucky nearly three decades ago, helping to pick off Democrats in the state's federal delegation that was sparse on Republicans. After this week's election, Republicans now hold five of Kentucky's six U.S. House seats and both of the state's U.S. Senate seats.

Kentucky also has built a track record of voting for Republican presidential candidates. On Tuesday, Republican Mitt Romney bested President Barack Obama in 116 of Kentucky's 120 counties.

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  • And you sir are bloviating out your...oh never mind.

  • Yeah, the oil companies don't want free stuff. The Koch Bros don't want free stuff. The top 2% don't want any free stuff. And Mitt Romney promised to give it to them good! Need4speed is blowing bubbles in the bathtub again.

  • The people voted for more free stuff. That's the facts and I as well as everybody else will have to live with it. I noticed that most of my talking points have gone unanswered. "You can fool some of the people all of the time and some of the people all of the time"--Abraham Lincoln 16th president (R Illinois).------------------Oh, and one more point before I depart, The United States is a democratic republic, not a democracy.

  • Hey...the facts are the Republicans got the country into a mess and now wants to place blame on the president and expects him to clean up their mess that they made and left him with. They are now witch hunting for anything to make the president look bad. If Obama is such a bad president HOW did he get re-elected? I believe we are still a democracy so the people have spoken and the president is here for four more years whether you like it or not. It took eight years for BUSH/Cheney to all but destory this country, sadly it will take more than that to clean up their mess no matter who the president is.

  • blah blah blah...Blame Bush...Blah Blah Blah...Blame Bush...blah blah blah...Blame Bush. Repeat ad nauseum until you believe it completely. Reapeat it enough and you might believe 'ol Dubya is responsible for anything bad that has happened in the last 200 years...---------------------------I do have a clue or two about nuance. You might need to get a clue about exageration..."Tens of thousands?" C'mon man.--------------------------The actual intelligence gathering began when Dubya finally got smart and fired that idiot Rumsfeld and appointed Robert Gates as Sec Def . Gates did a great job of getting back to the task at hand. President Obama was smart to keep him on. ----------Bill Clinton had a location on Bin Laden but opted not to take him out. How far back do you want to go?

  • Bush got into this because that administration sent Condi Rice into the UN with false information (remember the "mushroom cloud") that started a long and protracted war that killed tens of thousands of Americans, and for what? Bush gets brought up because they sent their Sec. of State Colin Powell into the UN with known misinformation and it resulted in the same Iraq war...and Powell now knows that he was purposely used. Bush gets brought in because you right wingers let it slide and don't have a clue about what nuance means. Need4speed you are blowing bubbles in the bathtub...

  • Where is the evidence that anyone in the president's office has covered up anything? As far as the military and intelligence....yes it was there... but Obama used them wisely to capture and kill Bin Laden something that your Mr. Bush did not do that he PROMISED that he would do! Either the intelligence did "just magically showed up" or Mr. Bush just ignored it. Kinda like the intelligence he was given by the Clinton administration about the threats of airplanes being used for attacks on buildings that he and his adminisration ignored. So how can you blame Obama for a terror attack (that was not even on American soil) but give Bush a pass on the Sept. 11th attacks that happened right here at home???

  • So somehow you have decided that the death of 3000 citizens means nothing to me. The screaming and retribution for that act has been taken care of. Apparently, in your world, I should still be jumping up and down about Pearl Harbor. How dare you! Benghazi is about the here and now and about a lying a$$ administration that was covering up crap like a cat in a litter box. And I suppose the military infrastructure and intelligence that caught Bin Laden just magically showed up when Obama was elected.

  • Bush has been gone for four years but we still feel the effects of his administration's actions while he was in office. It is funny how you scream about Benghazi but not the death of 3,000 US citizens. Also Bush gave up on trying to even bring Bin Laden to justice so at least Obama had enough resolve to keep his campaign promise of bringing him to justice.

  • Need4speed blowing bubbles in the bubble.

  • GM is doing fine. Really? I'm assuming that you believe that they have no debt and a healthy cash reserve. If you do believe this you are wrong. I'm not sure how Bush got into this. He has been gone for four years, get over it. Unless of course this is smoke and mirrors designed to avoid the Benghazi incident. And last but not least, I do regard the Russians to be a HUGE geopolitical threat as long as the ex KGB head Vladimir Putin is running the show. Bin Laden may never rise again, but in this case, cutting off the head of the snake isn't enough. Perhaps another apology tour.

  • GM is doing fine. No one has said Al Queida was gone. Where was your anger towards Bush when the terrorist attacked the Twin towers? He was given all kinds of intelligence warnings about the airplane attacks that they were planning. And they killed over 3,000 US citizens in that attack. And your Republican nominee Mitt Romney said the Russians were one of the US greatest geopolitical foes...not North Korea or Iran. Putin may put back up the wall (which is highly doubtful), but Bin Laden will never rise again........

  • GM ain't out of the woods yet and Al Queida is still alive and well. Can you say Benghazi? I knew ya could... However, the wall remains torn down even though Mr. Putin would like to see it put back up.

  • Need..."GM is alive and Bin Laden is dead"......

  • Ronnie couldn't carry Ashley Judd's jockstrap...and YES, she needs one. "Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall", and Ronnie huffed and puffed and huffed some more, but the thing that tore down the wall was that USSR went bankrupt...it ain't easy or cheap supporting an empire. The arms race very nearly took us down a few notches too. Like the fiasco in Afghanistan, this lesson regarding empires that the Russians should have taught us has fallen on our deaf ears. .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. "The bumper sticker version of history pushed by the media, especially the US media, claims that it was president Reagan’s achievement. Yes, in 1987 Reagan made a speech from the safe Western side of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, where he issued his famous challenge: ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’ The Germans give the credit to Mikael Gorbachov. ‘Gorby’ is a hero to a generation of Germans, not because he tore down the wall but because he created the opportunity. We would also do well to remember that the late eighties saw a wave of liberation around the globe, which resulted in a political sea change in the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan. Burma's 1988 protests were put down with bullets, however, as was the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising. Reagan’s real contribution to the Fall of the Berlin Wall was to ratchet up an arms race that accelerated Russia’s economic bankruptcy. A bigger factor was Gorbachov’s focus on changing the way Russia worked, or rather the reasons it didn’t. As he spoke of glasnost, perestroika and the need for change, Russia’s satellite states wondered if change meant more freedom for them.

  • Not exactly the responses I was expecting, but OK. It doesn't matter where the people I suggested come from, just send 'em. D, I was actually comparing actors to actresses, not political ideology. News Flash: Reagan is dead, Bush is retired, Mitch continues to obstruct by filibuster, and Harry Ried continues to obstruct by tabling anything that comes from the house. And just a small point in history, "Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall"

  • For years conservatives have been trying to outdo each others’ remembrances of the great conservative icon, Ronald Raygun. But Reagan was not the man conservatives claim he was. This image of Reagan as a conservative superhero is myth, created to unite the various factions of the right behind a common leader. In reality, Reagan was no conservative ideologue or flawless commander-in-chief. Reagan regularly strayed from conservative dogma — he raised taxes eleven times as president while tripling the deficit — and he often ended up on the wrong side of history, like when he vetoed an Anti-Apartheid bill. .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Hindsight now tells us that Reagan was apparently in the early on-set of Alzheimer's, which explains a lot. But even in his good ol' days, he was still just a B movie actor, and has NEVER been on anyone's list of what could be called a heavy thinker. Shucks, he used to pass around his jar of jelly beans at the Executive Staff meetings and then nod off while his Donald REGAN and the staff conducted the meeting. Nancy and her astrologer had more to do with running the country than old doddering Ronny. So dream on conservatives, it just shows how you were in the bubble even back then...you have had your 15 minutes and are sliding off into irrelevancy.

  • How many of these problem solvers has the republicans sent to Washington? McConnell sure isn't a problem solver he is a problem creator. He has done nothing the last 4 years to help KY. He and his buddies have done nothing but obstruct the president and the country's way forward. I believe the people have seen the true nature of McConnell and will vote his a$$ out.

  • Ashley Judd? are you kidding? The left wing looneys arfed about Reagan because he was an actor, but this is OK? C'mon man...How about sending some engineers and scientist and technicians, and teachers to Washington? You know, people that solve problems, not create and/or argue about them.

  • 1713, Just remember that friends will take up for friends & some will definitely get upset if anything critical is said about a friend. Also, friends wont bother friends like they bother other people. If people wants to praise Sheriff Melton for maikng our streets safer by arresting drug dealer & users and people who are in contempt of court for not showing up or paying a fine, then so be it. The thing is that none of those people are a threat to the citizens & never were. The drug culture is here to stay no matter how many gets arrested & as far as the so called bigtime dealers who actually does go to prison for a few years, they have been replaced! If the Sheriff has done anything then it is make the county money from all the arrests & fines. I've seen the tactics used on a few occasions like having plain clothes men at a busy intersection running up to cars & looking in & then get on their radios to report of any violations to a waiting cruiser. WOW! I have been disgusted since his office investigated a friend & donor of RAPE and wouldn't bring charges. What they basically said was once a woman allows a man once, then the man can continue forever. That incident should had been turned over to the State police to keep people like us from crying foul. I have seen bystanders threaten with arrest if they didn't go into their house. I've heard a State Policemen apologize for the way Deputy Matt brown conducted himself with innocent onlookers. All Matt Brown has to say is somebody makes him nervous & it gives him the right to do whatever he wants. I do believe most of the awful things that I'm hearing about this one deputy from what I have personally seen & heard from him. The A.G. office refused to do their job & investigate wrongdoings by him so the Sheriff gets a Jefferson Co. Sheriff to investigate him. Yeah, that is pretty kosher to get a fellow member (CRONY) from the same organization to investigate wrongdoings. Maybe somebody can explain why anytime a mugshot of an arrested person at the jail has a blackeye or marks on their heads, they were arrested by the Sheriffs Department. Did somebody get NERVOUS AGAIN or is it that the State & City Police don't ever arrest violent people? Let people believe what they want but when something happens to them or their family & friends, then they can't act like they weren't told by a b!tching crybaby like me.

  • BTW, I like Ashley Judd for our next Senator too. Mitch McConnell is an embarrassment to our state and nation, and over the last 4 years he made it the #1 priority of the Congressional Republicans to make President "Obama a one term president" at the expense of our economy.

  • Fleet Management: "Research what the sheriff has done, solved the murder of the individual committed by those Owen co. People in one day," .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Of course, you must be talking about the murder of Mr. Monroe in the Walmart parking lot, right? I really don't know what happened in Walmart's parking lot that night, but from all of the reports and statements, it would seem that the Sheriff's Office may have had more to do with it than they are admitting. ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland said after the indictments were issued that "the three men planned to rob him after buying prescription drugs from him in the Walmart parking lot on Leonardwood Drive May 5", but did the 3 plan to kill Mr. Monroe too? ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ The Sheriff called this an alleged "drug deal gone bad". As quickly as they ID'd and apprehended the suspects, it is like they knew who these guys were before this happened. Or, it was as if they were lurking in the background watching as the "alleged" drug deal went down. The Sheriff's Office failed to explain how they were able to track down these guys from another county and arrest them in less than 12 hours? ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ I have been pondering this story ever since it happened, as it is the motive that I find particularly puzzling. I wondered what would make these 3 guys kill Mr. Monroe. It is easy to figure out why they would rob him, to get his pills (or money) for nothing, as what was he going to do? Call the police? I could see why they may even rough him up some just to sufficiently scare him. There were 3 of them and only one of him, so that would have been easy. But there is a huge difference in the way that police investigate a robbery of an individual and the way they treat the murder of a confidential informant. And those guys from Owenton knew that more than most because 2 of them had grown up in and around law enforcement families. ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... The police records are full of stories where thugs rob drug dealers because they know full well that there is nothing that the dealers can do about it short of coming after them personally. I have a feeling from what the family said about him, and the fact that Mr. Monroe has two little kids, that he wasn't likely to do that. He wasn't a gangster for real and they probably knew it. Plus, there were 3 of them. ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Surely the 3 killers didn't think that Mr. Monroe was going to get into their car with a large sum of money or his whole stash of pills on him, did they? Was he there to buy or sell? The question that keeps coming into my mind is what did those thugs find out in that car that night that would make them freak out bad enough to think that they had to kill Mr. Monroe in order to get away? Like I said, two of these guys were raised around the police all of their lives, so they understood that a robbery was one thing, but killing someone was a whole different matter. The only thing that makes sense is that they discovered something...a wire maybe, or something else that would indicate that this was a sting operation, which most everything indicates that it was. ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Maybe the 3 thugs weren't the only ones freaking out on this scene, after all, the Sheriff's deputies left Mr. Monroe's body on the side of the roadway of the on-ramp of I64 East until the next morning even though they were told by the family "friend" that it was there. Why didn't the Sheriff's Deputies investigate the mysterious thing that "looked like a body being thrown out of a car" until the next morning? I am sure that that is NOT standard protocol to have such an incident be reported and fail to immediately investigate it? Did the Sheriff's Office know what the mysterious object was all along? ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Were the sheriff's deputies too busy chasing these guys to deal with Mr. Monroe's body? How many frantic people were watching this thing go down? Was Monroe an informant who was participating in this sting sale or buy to the 3 thugs as part of a deal to lessen his charges, which is often the case? Did the thugs discover this in the car and was that why they killed him? ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... I am really against these kinds of Drug War tactics used by the police where they make a deal with civilians who have been arrested for some relatively minor charge, and use it as leverage to coerce them into getting involved in these very dangerous drug/weapons stings. Instead of using undercover agents to do it, which is their job, they transfer all of the risk to these untrained and unarmed people who really don't know what they have gotten involved in. ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Is that enough "research"? Anyway, this whole game of playing Miami Vice seems to be a diversion from investigating serious crimes, although I am thankful to the Sheriff's Office for those serious crimes that they have solved. I would like to see more of an emphasis on those crimes llisted in the State Police study...at one every 2:38 there has been several committed during the time that I was writing this comment. I am much more concerned about solving violent crimes than spending months on investigating some red neck cowboys driving their pickups to Florida to doc shop for pain pills.

  • I for one thinks Ashley Judd would be fantastic. Another woman's point of view in this male dominated world would be refreshing. She is smart, talented and loves Kentucky dearly. Not to mention she is an avid Wildcat fan.

  • Research what the sheriff has done, solved the murder of the individual committed by those Owen co. People in one day, solved the burglaries at the RJ Industries building doing $700,000 in damages, solved a burglary of 5 homes in Louisville and Lexington with a traffic stop on I64, solved one of the robberies on Swifty on east main, and found the bug spray bandit girl after she ran to Alabama. Just type sheriff in the search box on this site to see more. It's not all drugs but most of the robberies and home breakins are related to drugs. Appreciate your comment.

  • bodeen, "Mitchs head has gotten so big that he thinks he owns that office." It is no wonder why Mitch can't get his head back in the shell. Now is the time to chop it off...figuratively speaking of course. ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... The problem most people have with the police is that they have two sets of laws, one set for everyone else which they enforce with vigor, and then one off-the-books set for themselves. I personally have known several law enforcement officers who were on the juice (steroids). The Drug War has ruined the relationship that the police once had with the community. What ever happened to Ol' Officer Friendly? That and the fact that many on our police force honed their street side manner on the streets of Fallujah, kicking in doors and shooting civilians in Iraq...the stuff that PTSD is made from. The police certainly have their place investigating real serious crimes and putting violent thugs in jail. But busting penny-ante druggies selling their own prescription meds by-the-pill out of the back of their pick'em-up trucks is a diversion that keeps them from doing serious law enforcement. The Kentucky State Police annual Crime in Kentucky report in 2011 stated that a serious crime was committed every two minutes and 38 seconds in Kentucky. "Crimes that fall into that category include rape, robbery, homicide, aggravated assault, arson, burglary, thefts and automobile thefts." Hmmm...funny, but they didn't even mention drugs in that narrative, yet that is where the thrust of our Sheriff's Office activity has been since he has been in office. It is like they have lost their way... ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Frankfort is NOT "one drug infested town" FM, and anyone who thinks it is should visit someplace like East St. Louis or LA. Actually, the editorial and cartoon on the day of this article nails it...Frankfort is just Mayberry with a Walmart.

  • Bodeen, in an on line artice today titled Man faces 10 years for storing child **** images, two guys are pled guilty and still were given 5 years probation. I think its the courts, and not in the case, the City Police's case that led to the 5 yr probation verdict. these guys were told to go to Detroit and stay there. Thanks

  • Bodeen, Our courts do not put in jail or the laws dont allow them to put the first time offenders in jail, not sure which it is. But the leaders of these drug gangs are getting substantial time behind bars. 8-20 years for some of them. I'm pretty sure Neil Clark got close to 20 years in the Federal Pen, they don't let them out early. I researched a little and see the first time offenders got 5 years probation, thats pretty stiff for a first offense. If and when they get caught again, lets hope our judges put them in jail for a period of time. Now the Memphis crew, those guys were basicaly told to go back to memphis instead of serving time here, i believe. I believe Brown, Black, and Gray are making a difference and hope thaey keep it up. Thanks to you too for the conversation!

  • FleetManagement, I had family who served a deputy & I actually have several city & some sheriff deputies for friends. I went to school with some & I do agree with the same old drug problem that we have always had. Maybe you can enlighten me as to WHY THE VERY LOW CONVICTION RATE & PLEA DEALS that is going on. I'm under the impression that it is because of shoddy investigations & illegal tactics that are used (amoung others). Maybe Ted & Steve could had done more if they allowed what now goes on now because they both know & knew of all thats been targeted. Now you or others can take me as against our law enforcement because that is the way I come across but make no mistake about it, I'm all for RESPECTABLE COPS WHO PROUDLY WEARS THEIR UNIFORM & DOES THEIR JOB WITH A PASSION & LOVE FOR OUR TOWN & ITS CITIZENS! Unfortunately, we have some that doesn't. I can tell that you look through tinted glasses but thats Ok, NUTTIN WRONG with that exept that your glasses may be a tad too tinted. It's not all rosey pink. Thanks for your comment. I do like & respect it...............Now on to tafugates comment. As bad as I dislike Mitch, I don't think it is right for people to move to another district just to run for an office. It prooves that they are not running for the people & only for the job. Mitch needs to go & go the hard way. Has Kentuckians wisened up enough to do it. Mitch has the cash & cash does corrupt & unfortunately once again, it buys the office!

  • is it even possible for ashley judd to run for the senate in kentucky? doesn't she live in tennessee? the donald will be wanting to see her birth certificate. personally, at first i was skeptical what kind of candidate she'd be. but i see she has (or is/was working on master of public administration degree from harvard. dunno if that means anything, there are plenty of harvard lawyers that can't find their way in out of the rain. but it does seem like she's serious about public service. whatever her politics, she'd be a godsend compared to the clueless/obstructionist mcconnell. completely agree with bodeen regarding ben chandler. we seldom agreed, but he's seriously one of the most intelligent/objective kentucky politicians. barr? not so much. the 6th district is a head-scratcher. dunno what law enforcement had to do with ms judd, but having served jury duty twice in franklin county, drugs are the numero uno law enforcement problem. quite an eye opener for me to find out our sleepy little town isn't so sleepy, metaphorically speaking. and finally (you say), what's the point in posting if it's just to say 'kumbaya'? that would be boring.

  • bodeen, it seems every time you post, Boom, you and Hugh something or other bash the heck out of whoever the story is about especialy any police stories. These guys and gals risk their lives every time they step out of their door. They do great jobs. Admittedly, I'm looking at them through blue and brown glasses. I'm a fan of law enforcement. If the drug arrests are indictative of our problems, then this is one drug infested town and I hope the City, Sheriff, KSP and anyone else keep it up.

  • I POSTED TOO QUICKLY. I just want to say that I dearly liked Chandler for years & thought he was one of the best if not the best democrat to come down the pike in a long time. I wanted to see him get the governorship. I know a lot of folks in Franfort loves this man but for the life of me, I don't understand why a lot of them aren't as upset as the rest of the people in the sixth district. Don't get me wrong, It isn't just Chandler but it is most of the LIFERS that the voters continue to give a free ride to.

  • FleetManagement, actually I do. If me being fed up with crooked politicians bother you then it is what it is. Until you or your family are wronged by any then you wont understand. I was in the loop for 20 + years & KNOW A LITTLE! I don't know if people play dumb or really don't know how some really are. I am basically fed up with the whole system to be honest! You are entitled to your opinion & I totally respect that. Thanks & have a good day.

  • Bodeen, do you EVER EVER make a positive comment on this site?

  • Bodeen, do you EVER EVER make a positive comment on this site?

  • If Mr. Yarmuth would like to try his luck in a U.S. Senate race, we'll be happy to pay his filing fee...............This is as COCKY as it gets folks. Mitchs head has gotten so big that he thinks he owns that office. I hope the voters show him that same door that CHANDLER got shown!