Ashley Judd decides to skip U.S. Senate race

“Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate.” - Ashley Judd

It’s back to the drawing board for Kentucky Democrats in search of a viable contender to take on U-S Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Actress Ashley Judd had been flirting with the idea for several months but yesterday announced on Twitter she would ‘not’ run for the Senate next year.

“Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate.”

Judd issued a more detailed statement on

Here is Judd’s full statement:

           Thank You

           Posted on

Over the past several months, I’ve been deeply moved by the resiliency, grace, and spirit of the many Kentuckians I’ve been honored to encounter as I’ve travelled our great state. After hearing your voices and stories – your dreams for your families and the many hurts you’ve experienced – it’s profoundly clear Kentucky needs leaders in Washington who will fight for your interests. And it’s time Kentucky had an alternative to the cynical politics and self-serving tactics of Mitch McConnell.

It would be the greatest honor of my life to be entrusted as a public servant to our beloved Kentucky. Perhaps someday I will be. However, with the help of my pastors and mentors, I have thoughtfully and prayerfully concluded that I won’t run for the United States Senate at this time.

I have never been intimidated by the prospect of serving Kentucky – and I remain unafraid of the Washington insider political machine that has controlled this Senate seat for three decades.

My chief concern in reaching this decision has only been the possibility that it disappoints folks. I’ve been blown away by the incredible encouragement, support, and confidence I’ve received, and I thank everyone who has reached out from our 120 counties and around our nation to offer their talents and time. I am humbled by the many supporters who have shown they are ready to work, organize, fight, and pray for a just economic future for Kentucky. I am especially grateful to four generations of my family for their endless understanding for my passion for service. Thanks Mom, for wanting to turn the carport into a field office – and for working on campaign slogans. And thanks, Dad, for being such a good listener at kitchen cabinet meetings, and making sure I was always clear on the “next action steps!”

While I will not be taking to the campaign trail at this time, I continue to be energized by so many unforgettable declarations from Kentuckians, which have kept me awake many nights:

I want business to come to Kentucky, not because my children are the cheapest labor they can find, but because they are the most educated work force they can find.

It’s finally Kentucky’s turn to lead the nation.

We can create a just economic transition, but not with a Senator whose tenure has seen 1% of population go from controlling 3% of the wealth to 27% of the wealth.

We have so much hope, and we need a leader whose vision for us and our children is as big as our potential.

I am more resolved than ever that this kind of politics as usual – and the egregious abuses that have become all too common in the public space – must end. It will be my pleasure to support the eventual candidate with all my energy. That’s what it will take from each of us to return this Senate seat to those to whom it rightfully belongs: the people of Kentucky.

Thank you again for your kindnesses and support. It has moved and blessed me.


Now the question turns to who will Kentucky Democrats pit against McConnell. One name that has surfaced recently is Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Judd had never official entered the race but the attack ads were already running. You might remember these two stories from earlier this year.


Conservative group blasts Ashley Judd as “Obama following, radical Hollywood liberal”

McConnell campaign pokes fun at potential Democratic challengers


Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul says he will not support a Tea Party move to unseat McConnell. Paul, who rode into office on a wave of Tea Party support, indicates he will support McConnell’s reelection bid for a sixth term in Washington.

What do you think about Judd’s decision not to run? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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