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Ashley Judd ready to take on Mitch McConnell?

Michael E. Keating

Ashley Judd, the actress and social activist, is planning on running for Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell's Senate seat in Kentucky, according to a Huffington Post storybased on sources.

The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman quoted unnamed sources saying Judd, 44, is planning on announcing her candidacy around the time of the Kentucky Derby in May. According to the Huffington Post, Judd - who campaigned hard for the Obama-Biden ticket last fall - is working with a pollster and is talking to high-profile media consultants.

Judd, in an e-mail exchange with the Huffington Post Saturday, called the stories of her running "fabrications," but did not respond when asked if she was going to run, according to the Huffington Post.

Judd, who went to school at the University of Kentucky and has become something of fixture at UK Wildcat basketball games, lives in Nashville. She would have until November to establish residence in Kentucky in order to run for Kentucky's Senate seat.

Some polling has shown that McConnell, a Louisville Republican, has dropped in popularity among voters in the commonwealth of Kentucky.

There was enough concern about the possibility of a Judd candidacy that GOP strategist Karl Rove's Super PAC produced an ad in which she proclaims herself a Tennessean and quotes her grandmother calling her a "Hollywood liberal."

Perhaps the most likely alternative to Judd for Kentucky Democrats is Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.