Report: Looks like Ashley Judd is running

After a period of speculation, the actress's allies say she will run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Published March 10, 2013 9:23PM (EDT)

The Huffington Post reports that sources in Ashley Judd's camp say the 44 year-old actress is running for Senate in Kentucky against Senate Minority Leader and staunch Obama antagonist Mitch McConnell.

Reached via email, Judd

...offered a not-quite-ironclad denial to The Huffington Post. “I am not sure who is saying this stuff, but it is not I! I’d prefer as a fan of your journalism that you stay accurate and credible. We told everyone who called us yesterday these stories are fabrications.”

But she declined to specify which "stories,” did not say what wasn't "accurate,” and did not respond when asked directly whether she had, in fact, decided to run or chosen a time to declare her intentions.

According to the piece, Judd plans to go public with her decision around the time of the Kentucky Derby when Kentuckyis in the media spotlight.

Judd, sources say, is working with New York pollster Jefrey Pollock; has interviewed a number of media consultants including Anita Dunn, formerly of the Obama campaigns, and J.B. Poersch, the former head of the Democrats' national senate campaign committee, as well as leaders of Emily's List; and is lining up allies and field organizers.

If in fact she is running Judd will give some star power to the race but will also be a ready-made lightning rod for criticism about liberals' ties to Hollywood. Several weeks ago the liberal New York Magazine writer blogger Jonathan Chait summed up the potential contest as follows:

And while a Mitch McConnell concession speech after losing to Ashley Judd is possibly the most gratifying political event I could possibly imagine, it is also impossible.


By Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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