The rumors are true: Ashley Judd is considering running for Senate in 2014, four sources tell Politico. But the political fledgling would be up against none other than Kentucky's own Mitch McConnell, so she's also considering waiting until 2016 to take on Rand Paul instead. The actress and longtime Dem activist has discussed the run with Kirsten Gillibrand and a Democrat pollster, and has started doing her own opposition research to find out where her most vulnerable spots in the state are. “She is doing all the things that a serious candidate exploring a race should do,” a Kentucky Democrat says.
A 2014 run would be exciting for Democrats, since many of McConnell's strongest potential opponents are instead considering gubernatorial runs in 2015. And Judd's star power and ability to raise money could bring significant energy to the Democrats' base, although some are concerned she'd be an easy target as someone far too "Hollywood" and with no political experience. And McConnell's camp isn't about to go easy on a newbie: “It’s going to sting,” his campaign manager warns potential challengers. “We’re going to make sure that you don’t come out with your nose clean." (Read more Election 2014 stories.)