Catalina Camia, USA TODAY - ON POLITICS blog
Ashley Judd vs. Mitch McConnell in 2014? It's still not set in stone but the buzz meter is up high following a report that says the actress is seriously looking at the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky.
Politico reported that Judd, who was nominated for an Emmy Award for her starring role on ABC's Missing, has talked to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., about a possible Senate bid and consulted with a Democratic pollster. She has even started to conduct opposition research on herself, says Politico, which cites "four people familiar with the matter."
McConnell, the Senate's minority leader, is among 13 Republicans up for re-election in 2014. He is taking no chances on his bid for a sixth term and has already hired Jesse Benton, who has strong ties to the Tea Party, as his campaign manager.
Judd is no stranger to politics and was a Tennessee delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. She even announced the state's votes for President Obama in Charlotte as the president was formally nominated as the party's standard bearer.
Judd was raised in the Bluegrass State and attended the University of Kentucky. She and her husband, race car driver Dario Franchitti, live in Tennessee.
Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., who first floated the idea of Candidate Judd, told Politico that the actress is "doing all the things that a serious candidate exploring a race should do." Judd told US Weekly last month she was "honored" at being mentioned as a possible candidate.