Judd still looking to move back to Kentucky for race in the future, Democratic advisor says

04/10/2013 10:07 AM

In what was probably the most reported on tweet in political history since the Anthony Weiner scandal, actress Ashley Judd’s run against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell was put on hold in 140 characters.

The brief media frenzy that ensued before she ended speculation could all come back to the commonwealth. Jonathan Miller, the former two-term state treasurer and one-time gubernatorial and congressional candidate, told Pure Politics that Judd might move back to her old Kentucky home.

“I do really think she’s thinking about moving back to Kentucky permanently,” Miller said in an in-studio interview with Pure Politics.

Miller said Judd decided the timing was off for the 2013 race. “Now’s not the right time,” he said.

Some state Democrats had been rumbling that a Judd race against McConnell could cost down ticket seats in an unstable Democratic House majority. There was also plenty of talk about where exactly Judd would list for her permanent address after she has spent most of her time in recent years in Tennessee. But all that could clear up soon and a revamped Judd could emerge Miller said.

“She was energized by all the support. I do think that she’s really looking to moving back to Kentucky permanently. I do think there is a real possibility of her running for another office down the line,” Miller said. “If she does all these complaints about residency or not touching all her bases or not paying her dues by that point she’ll be set.”

Miller said Judd has already expressed to him that she would like to help whomever the Democratic nominee turns out to be. And that help during the 2014 campaign could improve her chances at a future race.

“Whether it is Rand Paul in ’16 — or he might not even run because he might be running for president — it’s congress sometime or statewide office, she will be in a better position,” Miller said.

Judd is described by Miller as ‘Clintonian’ in her dealings with people on the grassroots one-on-one level, “A lot of the skeptics in this race will be blown over once she decides to come back.”

Miller addressed rumors that had been circulating as Judd considered her race – including a quote from the Huffington Post t in March. A source inside a private dinner at fundraiser Christy Brown’s home told the reporter how she Judd said she knew she could handle a race against McConnell.

“I have been raped twice, so I think I can handle Mitch McConnell,” reporter Howard Fineman printed in the article.

The problem, Miller said, was that he was there and he never heard that comment.

“I wrote about how things like that got published and became part of the fabric. Republican websites were trying to compare her to (former U.S. Rep.) Todd Akin for comparing rape to political campaigns,” Miller said. “When in fact that kind of statement – at least publicly was never made.”

While the future is up in the air for Judd and her political aspirations in the Bluegrass state the Democrats still have not landed a top tier candidate to challenge McConnell. And that is cause for concern for Miller.

“I’m hoping Alison Lundergan Grimes decides to run. If she does, and she is our nominee, I will strongly support her. If she doesn’t there are rumors about (former Kentucky U.S. Rep.) Ben Chandler running. I’m a huge fan of his, and I think he’d beat McConnell pretty soundly,” Miller said. “What I’m scared of is that all of these big candidates aren’t going to run and we’re going to be left either with nobody or running against McConnell or a very fine state legislator – who will have zero name recognition and no ability to raise funds.”


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