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Originally published Friday, November 9, 2012 at 11:26 AM

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Ashley Judd doesn't rule out run for US Senate

Actress Ashley Judd isn't ruling out a run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

Associated Press

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FRANKFORT, Ky. —

Actress Ashley Judd isn't ruling out a run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

The former Kentuckian is an active supporter of Tennessee Democrats. She said in a statement Friday that she's honored to be mentioned as a potential candidate, but she sidestepped the question of whether she would get into the race.

"I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I'm very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let's focus on coming together to keep moving America's families, and especially our kids, forward," she said.

Judd lives in Tennessee and would have to re-establish a residence in Kentucky before she could challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in his 2014 re-election bid.

No Democrats have stepped forward to challenge McConnell, a political powerhouse who already has $6.8 million in the bank for his re-election.

In 2008, McConnell won re-election to a fifth term and became Kentucky's longest serving senator. McConnell spent some $20 million on his last election, beating Democrat Bruce Lunsford, a wealthy Kentucky businessman, by 6 percentage points.

"Sen. McConnell and his wife are big fans of Ashley Judd's movies and appreciate her energy, especially when it comes to bringing young people into the political process," said McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton. He held his criticism for those who are pushing her candidacy.

Judd is a regular at University of Kentucky basketball games and the Kentucky Derby and has starred in such movies as "Kiss the Girls," "Double Jeopardy," "Where the Heart Is," and "High Crimes." She is married to three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti and is an annual spectator at the race.

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