Kentucky: Judd Passes on McConnell Challenge

Judd announced Wednesday that she will not run for Senate in Kentucky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 6:45 p.m. | Actress Ashley Judd announced Wednesday on Twitter that she will not challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky next year.

"Thank you for these months of remarkable support & encouragement, for your voices, exhortations, & prayers. I have decided," Judd wrote. "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."

The Washington Post first reported that the Democrat would take a pass on challenging the top Senate Republican, noting that the potential candidacy of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes made her decision easier.

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. Still, Judd hinted at a run in a speech just last week.

Update: Louisville TV station WHAS reported that Grimes has spoken with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and plans to file an exploratory committee as early as next week. When asked by CQ Roll Call, a DSCC spokesman would not comment on the party's recruitment.