Actress Ashley Judd is polarizing Kentucky Democrats as she seems to be starting a campaign for Mitch McConnell’s Senate seat in 2014.
Judd has not announced her candidacy officially, but her recent actions are leading many in the state to think she intends to run. She attended a dinner with important Kentucky Democrats and met with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
On one side, supporting her, is Rep. John Yarmuth, the only Democrat in Kentucky’s congressional delegation, who has championed an effort by Judd for some time. Yarmuth gushed, “I would be surprised if she doesn’t run at this point. My impression is this is something she wants to do, and she is now taking the time to make the contacts she needs to make throughout the state to try and generate commitments of support and in some cases fundraising. She is certainly acting like a candidate, a potential candidate.”
Governor Steve Beshear agreed, calling Judd a “serious candidate.”
On the other side are those who say Judd’s leftist agenda and current Tennessee residancy will doom her chances. They add that if Judd ran, the opposition would be national in scope and hurt the chances of other Democrats running for office in Kentucky. Jim Cauley, Barack Obama’s campaign manager for his 2004 Senate race, admitted that some Kentucky Democrats were so determined to head off Judd that they asked him to intercede and ask her to stay out.