Ashley Judd Says No to Senate Run Against McConnell

Judd's out, Democrats turn to young Alison Lundergan Grimes to take on Senate giant.

 Actress Ashley Judd speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Wednesday, June 9, 2010. Judd discussed the controversial practice of mountain top removal coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia.

Actress Ashley Judd has decided not to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Senate seat in 2014.

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Hollywood star Ashley Judd has passed on the chance to go head-to-head with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

[READ: Ashley Judd Will Have to Launch Charm Offensive to Overcome Past]

Judd, who has been mulling over a run for months made the official announcement on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, tweeting this message to fans.

"After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities and energy at this time need to be focused on my family. Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate," Judd said. "I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people and 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."

Judd would have faced an uphill climb as the liberal actress would have had to work overtime to reconcile her past positions on mountaintop coal removal and abortion with the more moderate Democratic style of the state.

Bill Bissett, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, says she would have been a long shot.

"Her public statements seem out of step with Kentuckians and that makes her a dark horse candidate," Bissett told U.S. News last month.

[READ: How Ashley Judd Can Overcome Sexist Hollywood Stigma]

Judd's connections with the White House coupled with her out-of-state home address also could have been a stumbling block, Democratic pundits in the state lamented. During his reelection campaign, Judd stumped for President Barack Obama, who is vastly unpopular in the state winning only four out of 120 counties in Kentucky last November.

While beating McConnell will be an uphill climb, Democrats in the state are optimistic it's not impossible. Democrats outnumber Republicans 1.7 million to 1.2 million even though Mitt Romney won there by more than 20 points.

Democrats hoping to beat McConnell are now looking to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, 34, who was a top Democratic vote getter in her previous election.

Pundits in the state say Grimes is a fresh face on the scene and met with former President Bill Clinton last month to talk seriously about a bid.

But whoever decides to run against McConnell will need deep pockets. McConnell spent $21 million on campaigns in 2008, a testament to his fundraising prowess.

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