In a message to her followers on Twitter and at her Web site, actress and humanitarian Ashley Judd announced today that she will not be running in 2014 for Kentucky’s U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Here is her statement:
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. I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader. While that won’t be me at this time, I will continue to work as hard as I can to ensure the needs of Kentucky families are met by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people & their needs, dreams, and great potential. Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth. Thank you!
As someone who had encouraged Ashley to consider the race, this obviously wasn’t the announcement I was hoping for. Her celebrity platform would have enabled a desperately-needed debate on critical matters of public policy such as poverty remediation, women’s health, environmental protection and economic growth. Her compassionate and incorruptable worldview would have made her an extraordinary U.S. Senator.
But as her friend, and as someone who has joyfully left the political arena — in part because of the brutal way modern politics treats candidates and their families — I can completely understand and commiserate with her decision.
I am also quite confident that we haven’t seen the last of Ashley as a potential candidate, particularly after she has had a chance to throughly put to rest questions about her residency and her commitment to public service in her home state of Kentucky.
I’m also very optimistic that Kentucky Democrats can identify a strong, serious candidate to challenge McConnell. So I encourage all Judd fans to join me in supporting the Democratic nominee, whoever she or he turns out to be.
UPDATED 7:30 PM 3/27
This is going to sound like typical politician horse-hockey, but I’ve been both blown away and amused at the dozens of emails and Facebook messages I have received encouraging me to run against Senator McConnell now that Ashley Judd has withdrawn from the race.
With sincere gratitude to all that have contacted me, I hereby issue the following statement:
STATEMENT OF JONATHAN MILLER ON THE PROSPECTS OF HIS RUNNING FOR THE U.S. SENATE IN KENTUCKY AGAINST MITCH MCCONNELL IN 2014
UPDATED 8:00 PM 3/27
We will post the full video of the appearance below as soon as it is available.
UPDATED 10:30 AM 3/28
Here’s the clip of my appearance on CBS This Morning: