Gov. Beshear expected to meet with Judd on potential senate bid


by Joe Arnold

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 8:20 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Kentucky governor Steve Beshear says he will meet soon with actress Ashley Judd as she decides whether to run against Senator Mitch McConnell in the senate election.

Not all Kentucky democrats are excited about Judd’s potential bid.

Allison Lundergan-Grimes, who’s currently serving her first term as secretary of state, said she’s been encouraged to consider running in the race.

Grimes is the daughter of one of Kentucky’s most powerful political figures – former Democratic Party chairman Jerry Lundergan, a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

“I think it’s coalescing. I think you’re seeing two sides start to develop – an Ashley Judd side and an Allison Lundergan-Grimes side and that dividing line is growing more distinct, everyday,” Democratic strategist Bob Gunnell said.

Mainstream democrats versus Obama democrats and elections show Obama is not popular in Kentucky.

Judd passionately supports the Obama administration, gun control, same-sex marriage and opposes mountain top mining. Judd has said that the era of the coal plant is over.

Congressman John Yarmuth says Judd’s star power will excite voters and will help democrats down the ballot rather than hurting them.

“Everybody I’ve talked to has expressed concerns about a Judd candidacy have also said if she is the nominee we’re going to support her,” he said. “If she decides to run, she will be the nominee and she will have unanimous support from the democrats in Kentucky.”

With McConnell expected to raise tens of millions of dollars in campaign cash and lots of outside support, democrats agree Judd can be a political rainmaker too.

“She does bring money, a lot of money to the table and money is the root to a good political fight,” Gunn said.