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Ashley Judd Says She Is Not Running For Senate

NPR icon by Eyder Peralta
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Rick Diamond

The actress Ashley Judd put an end to long-running rumors that she would challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell for his Kentucky seat in 2014.

Judd tweeted her decision, saying:

"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!"

As The Washington Post reports, Judd's potential candidacy drew support nationally, including from people like Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth.

"Democratic Senate strategists have argued that Judd would be a good, if unconventional candidate, pointing to her ability to rival or even eclipse McConnell in fundraising," The Post reports. "But McConnell's path to victory involves savaging his opponent, and Judd's status as an actress and celebrity would have offered him loads of ammunition."

The Wall Street Journal reports that a super-PAC run by a former McConnell aide had already set its sights on Judd, releasing a "a Web ad in February that depicts the political neophyte as a 'radical'Hollywood liberal who would march in lockstep with President Barack Obama."

Mother Jones reports that Judd is also a "public health activist" and a "three-time rape survivor." They report that during the Conservative Political Action Conference, this year, one speaker made a joke about Judd's obsession with rape.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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