Ashley Judd is making her Senate run official.
The 44-year-old actress has reportedly told key advisers and Kentucky politicians that she’s going to run for Senate in the state, taking on the powerful incumbent Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Judd’s official announcement is expected sometime in early May when the Kentucky Derby is turning the nation’s attention to the Bluegrass State.
Whatever may be happening behind the scenes, Ashley Judd remains steadfast in public statements that she has not announced any intentions.
“I am not sure who is saying this stuff, but it is not I!” Judd wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “I’d prefer as a fan of your journalism that you stay accurate and credible. We told everyone who called us yesterday these stories are fabrications.”
An political insider from Kentucky said that Ashley Judd “knows she has to declare soon” for the 2014 race. Judd has reportedly spoken with 88-year-old former Kentucky Gov. Wendell Ford, one of the state’s most respected Democrats.
Judd has also reportedly assembled a seasoned political team for her Senate run including New York pollster Jefrey Pollock. She’s said to have interviewed a number of media consultants including top Obama campaign official Anita Dnnn.
Ashley Judd was born in California, but she spent her youth in Kentucky where she attended school. Though she is known as one of Hollywood’s acting elite, Judd has also been an advocate for many political causes. In 2009, she enrolled at Harvard to obtain a master’s in public administration.
Judd already has the support of many Kentucky politicians. Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth has become Judd’s biggest in-state supporter and is pushing the idea of the actress running for Senate.
Yarmuth, who told ABC News that he would be surprised if she didn’t run, also said he thinks Judd has a good shot to defeat McConnell. Ashley Judd’s Senate run could have another piece of ammunition against Mitch McConnell — he was recently ranked the least popular Senator in the country.