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Ashley Judd, a Democrat who was mulling a challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Kentucky U.S. Senate seat in 2014, won't run after all, the actress announced Wednesday.
"After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities and energy at this time need to be focused on my family," Judd said in an announcement on her Twitter page. "Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate. I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader. While that won't be me at this time, I will continue to work as as hard as I can to ensure the needs of Kentucky families are met by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people and their needs, dreams, and great potential."
Had she decided to run, Judd's campaign would have faced an uphill battle against the Kentucky Republican. For starters, Judd's family lives in Tennessee, not Kentucky, and Republicans had already begun to attack her for it. (Judd was a Tennessee delegate at the Democratic National Convention last year.) Her public history of liberal activism and repeated controversial statements—she said, for example, “I have been raped twice, so I think I can handle Mitch McConnell"—also may have made it difficult for her to connect with Kentucky voters.
With Judd out, Kentucky Democrats are still searching for a candidate to run against McConnell.