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Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is up for re-election next year and could face a tough challenge from actress Ashley Judd. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has said that she would be a “formidable” opponent if she chooses to run.
Beshear spoke with The Associated Press on Tuesday, confirming that he had spoken with her and other potential Democratic challengers to McConnell’s seat. He considers her “an effective and formidable” opponent for McConnell, while Republicans in the state relish an opportunity to go against her because of her liberal ideals.
“I hope she does enter the race,” Kentucky House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover told the AP. “I think if she becomes a candidate for U.S. Senate, it will almost guarantee that we will become the majority party in the Kentucky House. Her statements on coal, her statements on traditional values are way outside what everyday, hardworking Kentuckians think.”
Political scientist Ernie Yanarella told the AP that if Judd really does plan to run, she better throw her hat in soon. “She has to define herself before she gets defined by those who are her opponents.”
However, sources for Fox News said on Friday that she plans on doing just that.
“At least in Ashley’s mind, it is happening,” an insider told Fox. “She has devoted herself to many important causes and stepped away from the Hollywood spotlight so this seems like the logical next step. I don’t know if she will be successful, but her heart is in the right place.”
Judd, 44, recently starred in the short-lived ABC series Missing and appears in Olympus Has Fallen, which hits theaters on March 22.