The actress Ashley Judd is reportedly considering a Senate run against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in her native Kentucky.
Judd, who received a Master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University in 2010 and for years has worked as a progressive activist, has discussed a Senate bid with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Democratic pollsters, Politico reported. Judd also has conducted opposition research on herself to prepare for attacks.
The star of movies like A Time to Kill and Heat recently took a break from acting to focus on her political activism. Judd sits on the board of PSI, a global health non-profit focusing on maternal health and women’s equality, and has spoken out against mountain-top removal coal mining in Kentucky. Judd also campaigned extensively for President Obama.
But Judd’s progressive credentials, as well as her ties to Hollywood, may work against her in Kentucky, where McConnell runs a powerful operation. The fact that she currently lives in Tennessee and Scotland also likely won’t help.
McConnell has been a staunch opponent of Obama’s agenda. He pledged in 2010 to do all he could to make Obama a one-term president.
McConnell’s advisers have promised they will hold nothing back against Judd or any other challenger. ”It’s going to sting,” Jesse Benton, McConnell’s campaign manager told Politico. “We’re going to make sure that you don’t come out with your nose clean. We’re going to drive your negatives up and very aggressively and publicly litigate your record before the citizens of Kentucky.”