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Ashley Judd's U.S. Senate campaign ended before it started.

It still made for plenty of headlines, however, not the least of which when she wound up the subject of a recent scandal involving would-be opponent Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

On Tuesday, Mother Jones released a recording of a private meeting among McConnell's aides, in which they plotted against Judd in preparation for the 2014 campaign.

In the leaked Ashley Judd tape, McConnell staffers talked and laughed about her political ambitions, religious beliefs, and mental health (among other things).

Now Judd, for her part, is fighting back.

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Ashley Judd is a joke and probably mentally unbalanced, according to a leaked tape in which Sen. Mitch McConnell's staff is plotting how to run against her.

McConnell (R-KY) was fully expecting a U.S. Senate bid from Judd in 2014, and although she decided not to run, his staff discussed her at length.

  • Judd Photo
  • McConnell

McConnell's voice can be heard during parts of the recording. At one point, someone played a recording of the star describing her religious beliefs:

"I still choose the God of my understanding as the God of my childhood," she says.

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Actress and Democratic political activist Ashley Judd announced Wednesday she will not challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in 2014.

Judd tweeted the news last night.

Judd Tweetz

Sources told The Washington Post that "the timing just wasn't right" for a Judd Senate campaign, though McConnell was clearly wary of a potential Judd bid.

Another insider said the 44-year-old actress was "95 percent there" on a decision to enter the Senate race but had "gone back and forth in recent days."

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Ashley Judd met with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last week, fueling rumors that the 44-year-old actress may actually run for political office.

The DSCC helps support Democratic candidates running for Senate, and very much wants Judd to run against Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate Minority Leader, in 2014.

Judd also dined with prominent Kentucky Democrats in Louisville.

Ashley Judd Laughs

Local TV station WHAS 11 said she told Rep. John Yarmuth and other VIPs that she is "leaning toward" running for Senate, and may decide by Derby Day, May 6.

Judd has already been hit TWICE in attack ads by McConnell, an amazing feat even in today's political environment of polarization and non-stop campaigning.

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U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is clearly worried about running for reelection in 2014 against actress / Democratic activist Ashley Judd.

He's posted ANOTHER ad attacking her and she's not even running yet!

McConnell's ad goes after Judd and three other possible Democratic challengers pretty hard, labeling them collectively “Obama’s Kentucky Candidate.”

The premise is that Obama is holding some sort of town hall meeting to pick Sen. McConnell’s opponent, and he goes from one person to the next.

The video editing is clever and the result is humorous, no doubt.

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Ashley Judd is considering a run for U.S. Senate, and the fact that it's even crossed her mind is enough to draw fire from potential political opponents!

American Crossroads, a Super PAC founded by Karl Rove, made the ad, calling her "an Obama-following radical Hollywood Liberal." Take a look:

Judd is considering a run in her home state of Kentucky, which explains why the ad notes that she resides in neighboring Tennessee, at least for now.

A Democrat, Judd, who just split from Dario Franchitti, would potentially take on Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Minority Leader in 2014.

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News that Ashley Judd and Dario Franchitti, her race car driver husband of 11 years, are divorcing has only fueled speculation over her possible U.S. Senate bid.

While conventional wisdom would suggest that a sad personal matter might shelve plans to run for public office, some say in Judd's case it makes it more likely.

Judd

Kentucky Democrats want her to run, saying the eighth-generation Kentucky native is an ideal candidate to take on GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

The politically active actress was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention this summer, so Sen. Ashley Judd is not a totally crazy concept.

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Although she hasn't officially decided on it, actress and avid Democrat Ashley Judd isn't ruling out a run for U.S. Senate in her native Kentucky.

Ashley Judd Photo

Judd lives in Tennessee and would have to re-establish residence in neighboring Kentucky before challenging Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

The 44-year-old says she's honored to be mentioned as a potential candidate, but sidestepped the question of whether she would actually run in 2014.

"I cherish Kentucky, heart and soul," she said.

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Ashley Judd Biography

Ashley Judd, Husband Ashley Judd is beautiful. Also, a huge fan of Kentucky Wildcats basketball. More »
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Ashley Judd
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