Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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November 25, 2012

Ashley Judd's grandmother skeptical of Senate run

FRANKFORT — Polly Judd is skeptical of talk that her famous granddaughter, actress Ashley Judd, might run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky as a Democratic challenger to Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

"I don't think there's any possibility of that happening," the 85-year-old grandmother of Ashley and her singer sister, Wynonna, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview last week from her home in the northeastern Kentucky city of Ashland.

Polly Judd, a political activist in Ashland where she once served on the city commission, praised McConnell, Kentucky's longest serving U.S. senator.

"I think Mitch has done more for Ashland than anybody else who has been in there," she said. "That means a lot. He's been here personally, and we don't always get that from politicians who represent us."

Ashley Judd, who has starred in such movies as "Kiss the Girls," ''Double Jeopardy," ''Where the Heart Is," and "High Crimes," hasn't ruled out a Senate run. The former Kentuckian said in a statement earlier this month that she's "very honored" to be mentioned as a potential candidate.

Her publicist said last week nothing has changed since the original statement was released.

"I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul, and while I'm very honored by the consideration, we have just finished an election, so let's focus on coming together to keep moving America's families, and especially our kids, forward," Ashley Judd said in the original statement.

Ashley Judd lives in Tennessee and would have to re-establish a residence in Kentucky before she could challenge McConnell in his 2014 re-election bid.

No Democrats have stepped forward to challenge McConnell, a political powerhouse who already has $6.8 million in the bank for his re-election.

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Vocalist Marlana VanHoose with her brother, Harley, and parents, Teresa and David, are shown in her mother’s classroom at Highlands Elementary in Johnson County. VanHoose has earned worldwide fans through videos of her renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games by the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team and the Brooklyn Nets.

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