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Ashley Judd passes on KY Senate run

Actress Ashley Judd, who had considered running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky where her opponent would have been Mitch McConnell, announced on Twitter that she will not campaign so that she can focus on her family. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

So much for what would have been 2014’s most-watched Senate contest.

Actress Ashley Judd, a Democrat,  announced on Wednesday that she will not mount a challenge to take on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

Dario Cantatore / Getty Images file photo

Ashley Judd attends Ashley Judd in Conversation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at the United Nations on March 14, 2012 in New York City.

“After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family,” the actress tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.

Critics painted her as a Hollywood elite out of touch with the state’s citizens, although she also was known as a high-profile fan of the state’s famous Kentucky Wildcats basketball team.

“Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate,” Judd wrote on Twitter. “I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months, who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader,” she wrote on Twitter.

“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 by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people & their needs, dreams, and great potential. Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth.”

Some Democrats were also concerned that a Judd run would hurt them statewide and that they would have a better chance with someone less high-profile. Democratic recruiting hopes now likely turn to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

NBC's Mike O'Brien contributed to this report. 


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