For those Kentucky residents who were hoping that their state would one day be represented by Senator Ashley Judd, well, we’ve got bad news.
After batting around the idea of throwing her hat in the ring, the actress has announced it’s not going to happen. On Wednesday, Judd took to Twitter and, via a string of seven different tweets, crafted a letter to her followers to share the news. Most likely a first in the senatorial world.
Judd has been politically active for years, often appearing at pro-choice events, campaigning for President Obama during the last two elections, and even serving as a delegate at last year’s Democratic National Convention. In 2010, she received her master’s degree in public administration from Harvard.
“I am incredibly honored and frankly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support,” the 44-year-old said at the Kentucky Society of Washington’s Bluegrass Ball in January. “That the people of Kentucky are interested in having me represent them is the greatest honor of my life so far, and I am certainly taking a close look at it.”
Dear Friends, Thank you for these months of remarkable support & encouragement, for your voices, exhortations, & prayers. I have decided.— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
My full statement will soon be on my website, ashleyjudd.comPlease know that is my voice & truth; don't fool with the distortions!— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family.— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate.I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months ~— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
~ 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 ~— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
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 &— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
their needs, dreams, and great potential.Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth. Thank you!— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 27, 2013
Shortly after making those comments (and announcing she was separating from race car driver husband Dario Franchitti after 11 years of marriage), a conservative political organization called American Crossroads put out an attack ad.
The video – called “Vote For Me, You Hillbillies”– depicted her as a typical Hollywood liberal and radical, who would blindly support President Obama if she takes office. “You know what this country needs?” a narrator sarcastically asks in the minute-plus long clip. “An independent voice… for Obama.”
The clip also addressed the fact that while she was born in Kentucky (Judd’s mother and sister are country singers Naomi and Wynnona Judd), she bought a home in Tennessee two decades ago and is technically a Tennessee resident.
According to a source who spoke with ABC News, learning that Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes was going to run, “gave her the space to really make a decision and decide what was best for her.”
If Judd had gone ahead with her Senate bid and did become the Democratic candidate, she would have run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) next year … and she at least had 11,722 people who might have voted for her. That’s the number of likes a Facebook page called “Draft Ashley Judd for Senate: Defeat Mitch McConnell” currently has. As of Monday, the page was selling $5 “Judd for Senate” bumper stickers.
Hopefully they didn’t print too many.
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