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Democrats look past Ashley Judd, want Ky. secretary of state to topple Mitch McConnell

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hollywood actress Ashley Judd may be taking step forward for a Senate run against Kentucky's five-term Mitch McConnell, but key Democrats may have found a new and less controversial candidate: Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Politico reports that key Democratic Party operatives, including former President Clinton, are walking away from Ms. Judd and toward Ms. Grimes, 34, who has far less political baggage. She's only served as secretary of state for a year, she's from an influential Democratic family — and she has the backing of Mr. Clinton, who's a family friend.

Mr. Clinton did meet with Ms. Grimes for about a half-hour during an Owensboro affair earlier this month and talked about her career in politics, Politico says. Ms. Grimes has also reportedly met with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee members.

Democrats who want to unseat Mr. McConnell fear Ms. Judd doesn't have the political muscle to beat him, and that some of her views — she referred to coal as an "unacceptable" energy source, as ABC reported — don't mesh well with Kentuckians.

"I think Alison has the pulse of the Kentucky voters," said Nathan Smith, a onetime vice chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party, in the Politico report. "While I think Ashley Judd is a great Kentuckian, I don't know if she has the pulse of the voters in Kentucky."

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