BREAKING: Ashley Judd Will Not Run for Senate

The much-rumored 2014 campaign by film star Ashley Judd for the Kentucky seat of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will not happen. In a series of Twitter messages Wednesday afternoon, Judd told her supporters:

Dear Friends, Thank you for these months of remarkable support & encouragement, for your voices, exhortations, & prayers. I have decided.
My full statement will soon be on my website, http://ashleyjudd.com. Please know that is my voice & truth; don’t fool with the distortions!
After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family.
Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate. I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader. 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. Thank you!

UPDATE: Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post:

A source close to Judd said that Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes’ interest in potential race made the decision not to run easier. “The timing just wasn’t right,” said the source. …
Democratic Senate strategists have argued that Judd would be a good, if unconventional candidate, pointing to her ability to rival or even eclipse McConnell in fundraising. But McConnell’s path to victory involves savaging his opponent, and Judd’s status as an actress and celebrity would have offered him loads of ammunition.

UPDATE II: Award-winning conservative blogger Ace of Spades, who had gleefully mocked Judd’s political ambitions, was despondent about today’s announcement: “The dream is dead.”

UPDATE III: Kyle Trygstad at Roll Call:

Although Judd would have been able to raise a significant amount of money, Democrats in the state were concerned about her candidacy and questioned how it would affect other members of the party on the ballot next year.

William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection:

[Judd has] been getting stranger by the day, including her claim that running against Mitch McConnell was like being raped.
Democrats were going to swoon over Judd, and try to turn her into the next Elizabeth Warren.
Who will they swoon around now, or are they swoonless?

UPDATE IV: In a statement to ViralRead, Louisville (Ky.) Tea Party president Sarah Durand said of Judd’s decision:

On one hand, we are glad Ashley Judd isn’t running because she’s way too radical for Kentucky. On the other hand, it’s disappointing because there is no way she could ever win. This opens the door for certain radical Democrats in the state to run while masquerading as moderates. The country can’t afford another senator who is less fiscally conservative than McConnell.

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