Kentucky: Judd Makes Rare Reference to Senate Race in Speech

Judd might run for Senate in Kentucky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 4:29 p.m. | Actress Ashley Judd made a few rare references to her possible bid to challenge Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., during a speech in Cincinnati on Friday.

According to local FOX affiliate WXIX-TV, Judd mentioned the sizable campaign war chest that McConnell is expected to leverage during his re-election campaign next year. At a speech to the American Counseling Association, Judd joked that her mother, country singer Naomi Judd, wants to turn her garage into a campaign headquarters, according to the local report.

Kentucky Democrats are not sold on the actress making a credible challenge to the longtime GOP incumbent, partly because of positions she has previously taken on coal. McConnell also boasts a strong campaign apparatus and has already launched a six-figure TV ad buy for a spot featuring his wife.

National Democrats plan to target McConnell in 2014; it's one of only a few offensive opportunities for the party next year. The only question is who will take on the minority leader.

A report in the Louisville Eccentric Observer earlier this month stated that Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes outperformed Judd against McConnell in a poll conducted for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Democrats have indicated Judd will make an announcement about a Senate run by early May. But she previously avoided the subject in public remarks, including an address to students at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on March 1.

Updated 4:29 p.m. | A Senate GOP source noted that Naomi Judd lives in Tennessee. This is particularly noteworthy as Republicans have already attacked Ashley Judd for living in Tennessee.