Actress Ashley Judd announces she will not run for U.S. Senate

(WKYT) - Rumors circulating that Ashley Judd, a well-known actress with Kentucky roots, would run for U.S. Senate were put to a stop Wednesday.

Judd tweeted Wednesday afternoon she will not seek to face Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has held his seat since 1984.

Her entire statement reads:

"After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family. 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 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 & their needs, dreams, and great potential. Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth. Thank you!"

McConnell's seat is one of 14 Republicans are defending.

Former state treasurer Jonathan Miller said Judd would have been a strong candidate for the Democrats.

In an interview with CBS This Morning, from the WKYT studios, Miller said he understands her decision.

"We were very confident that she'd run a great race, and have a good chance and be an excellent senator, but wanted to make sure she was aware how difficult it would be," Miller said. "And I think that ultimately, while her head said this was a race she could do, a race she could win, a seat that she would love to hold, that her gut ultimately wasn't in it."

Miller said he talked to Judd on the phone Tuesday. He said exploring a possible Senate run has energized her, and inspired her to play a role in Kentucky public policy.

Miller's interview will air Thursday on CBS This Morning, beginning at 7 a.m. on WKYT.

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