Actress and activist Ashley Judd is "very serious" but hasn't made a decision yet about running for the U.S. Senate in 2014, according to a knowledgeable source.
A Democrat, Judd would challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican in the upper chamber, for his seat in Kentucky. Judd spent part of her childhood in the Bluegrass State and graduated from the University of Kentucky.
While Judd hasn't decided, a Huffington Post report on Monday suggested that she was all but certain to run and plans to make her formal announcement in May around the Kentucky Derby.
Whether or not she's running, McConnell's campaign team and national Republicans have already gone on the offensive. Last month, it featured Judd in a web video that attacked Democrats in Kentucky for not yet fielding a serious candidate to challenge the Senate minority leader.
And when Judd spoke about public health issues at George Washington University earlier this month, a strategist at the National Republican Senatorial Committee took to Twitter to mock some of Judd's unusual comments at the event.
The actress has expressed interest in the seat and taken steps that would indicate a potential run--meeting with donors, setting up an email list on her website, boosting her profile in Kentucky. But Judd hasn't yet made any definitive statements.
The Huffington Post reported that Judd has also met with pollsters, media consultants and field organizers. And Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky has told reporters he believes she'll enter the ring at some point, though he says she hasn't told him of her plans.
Judd, who graduated from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 2010, has been active in public affairs, advocating policies aimed to target social welfare, public health and humanitarian issues.
She served as a surrogate for President Obama's campaigns in 2008 and 2012, and attended the Democratic National Committee in September as a delegate from Tennessee, where she's lived for years.