Ashley Judd to run for Senate? Rand Paul calls her 'too liberal'
Ashley Judd, an actress and native of Kentucky, is mulling a run for the U.S. Senate, a report says, while Rand Paul, a Republican leader and a junior senator in the state, says she is "way damn too liberal" for America.
Politico had earlier this week quoted "four people familiar with the matter" that the 44-year-old Democrat, daughter of country singer Naomi Judd and half sister of country singer Wynonna Judd, is "seriously exploring a 2014 run for the Senate to take on" Republican leader Mitch McConnell. The outlet also said that she is "reportedly also weighing whether to wait until 2016 to instead take on freshman Sen. Rand Paul."
Judd's spokesperson has said in November, when asked about reports about a possible Senate candidacy, that the actress "is very honored by the consideration" but has not confirmed whether or not she will actually run for office. If she does, she would have to establish residency in the state where she registers.
In an interview with Washington radio station WMAL, Paul was asked if he was prepared for a possible run against Judd.
"I thought she lives in Scotland," he said, chuckling. "I thought she was running for parliament. I think she'd fit right in the English parliament. She's way damn too liberal for our country, for our state. She hates our biggest industry, which is coal. So I said good luck - bring in the 'I hate coal message' to Kentucky."
Judd, known for films such as "Kiss The Girls," "Double Jeopardy" and "Heat" and the short-lived ABC series "Missing," lives in Tennessee with her family. The actress is married to a Scottish race car driver, Dario Franchitti.
In 2009, Judd attended a protest in Kentucky to help demonstrate about mountaintop removing coal mining, a practice in which explosives are used to blast away mountaintops in order to extract coal. She has said that it destroys "irreplaceable hardwood forests." In July 2010, she said in a speech to the National Press Club that the practice was the "rape of Appalachia."
Critics in Kentucky responded to her comment by putting up at a golf course a poster featuring an old photo of a topless Judd, originally published in Marie Claire magazine in 2006, and the words: "Ashley makes a living removing her top. Why can't coal miners?"
Judd is also known for her efforts to promote awareness about AIDS, animal rights, poverty, equality and domestic violence. In March, Kentucky's House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring "Kentuckian Ashley Judd on the occasion of the network premiere of 'Missing' and recognize her humanitarian efforts and outstanding work bringing awareness nationally and internationally for violence against women.
For the past four years, Judd has donated at least $7,500 to Democratic causes, including the first election campaign of President Barack Obama. If she ran and was elected to be a senator, she would be the most famous celebrity to do so. "SNL" alum and Democrat Al Franken was elected a senator for Minnesota in 2008.