Although she was born in California, Ashley Judd moved with her mother and older half-sister back to their native Kentucky when she was five, where she spent most of her childhood. Despite Kentucky being a largely Republican state, Judd herself is quite liberal, which is why she once seriously considered a run for U.S. Senate in 2014. She would have been challenging the to-be Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose politics couldn’t be more different than Judd’s.
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“In Ashley’s mind, it is happening,” a source close to Judd herself told her potential Senate run in 2013. “I don’t know if she will be successful, but her heart is in the right place.”
Judd’s campaign would have been monumental, as her name recognition, stardom, and grassroots activism in a mostly Red state could’ve shaken the political establishment and unseated the longtime incumbent. In fact, McConnell seemed to fear a Judd candidacy so much that he conducted opposition research in early 2013, intending to focus on his
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would-be opponent’s struggles with depression and religious views, according to a leaked tape released by Mother Jones. However, a McConnell vs. Judd political battle never played out. Judd’s political career ended up not taking off at all, largely due to factors quite unforeseen by Judd and her supporters.