Rumors swirl about Ashley Judd possibly running for office in Kentucky


by Joe Arnold

Posted on November 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 8 at 11:13 PM

(WHAS11) -- The election ended just two days ago but already rumors are swirling about who will challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2014 race.

One name getting the most buzz is Kentucky native and Hollywood actress Ashley Judd.

She lives in Tennessee and works in Hollywood but UK graduate Ashley Judd not only bleeds Kentucky blue, we've learned that the actress has been in conversations with influential Kentucky Democrats for months, contemplating a run against the longest serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history, Mitch McConnell.

 “This is not a frivolous thing. I think she is definitely interested in seeking public office. She has a great interest in public policy, and so I have encouraged her to do that,” U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth(D), Ky. 3rd Congressional District, said.

“I love it. And I watch her when she's at the U of K games all the time,” Ann Doane, Ashley Judd fan, said.  “I watch all of her movies, so I think she is awesome.”

Other potential Democratic candidates include: top Obama fundraiser and former ambassador to Sweden Matthew Barzun, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan-Grimes, Lt. Governor and former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and current Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Fischer lost in the Democratic Senate primary in 2008.

“I love the job I have right now. I'd never say I'm not going to do something but I don't have any plans to do that,” Fischer said.

Fischer said he is "leaning toward" running for re-election.

The Senate race would be tough for any Democrat against a well-funded McConnell and in a mid-term environment often a challenge for the party of the incumbent president. 

Obama lost Kentucky by 23 percentage points and Judd is an Obama Democrat.

“I just don't think at the end of the day she's a good fit for our state. Now, that being said I think she could run a very good race because she would attract large national money, large national attention,” Bob Gunnell, Democatic Strategist, said.

Democratic Strategist Bob Gunnell says Abramson may be the ideal candidate because for any Democratic candidate to win statewide, they would have to carry Louisville by a big margin.  Judd's Wildcat allegiance could come back to bite her in Cardinal country.