Mulling Senate bid, Ashley Judd meets with Democratic officials

Ashley Judd addresses the crowd during Tennesseans For Obama Benefit at The Cannery Ballroom on October 4, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

It seems Ashley Judd is taking to the next level her "close look" at a Senate bid against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.: Earlier this week, the Hollywood actress reportedly met with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington.

According to Politico, the meeting was Judd's first with the DSCC, which heads the recruitment of competitive contenders as well as fundraising efforts. But it's certainly a step forward from her remarks on the matter last month, when while in Washington for President Obama's inaugural events she said there was "no time frame" for when she will decide whether to run in 2014.

Rumors sprouted in November that Judd was mulling a bid to unseat McConnell, who having served since 1985 is the longest-serving senator in the traditionally conservative state's history. In a statement at the time, McConnell spokesman Jesse Benton said the minority leader is open to the challenge, and apparently a fan of Judd's movies, which include "Kiss the Girls," "Where the Heart Is" and "Dolphin Tale."

Judd, who was a Kentucky delegate at September's Democratic National Convention and has been a longtime humanitarian and environmental activist, already has some Democrats rallying in her camp, including Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., who has cited as assets her high-profile name recognition and presumed fundraising prowess. But some have predicted her opposition to mountaintop removal mining will set her apart from most other Kentucky politicians who are allied with the Blue Grass State's mining industry.

If Judd does decide to jump into the fray, Republicans will be ready. Earlier this month, the Karl Rove-backed PAC American Crossroads spent $10,000 on an online ad campaign, featuring a video that ridicules the actress for being a self-identified liberal "radical" and for calling Tennessee "home," despite that her potential Senate bid would be in Kentucky.

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