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Ashley Judd passes on KY Senate run

So much for what would have been 2014’s most-watched Senate contest.

Actress Ashley Judd, a Democrat,  announced on Wednesday that she will not mount a challenge to take on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

“After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family,” the actress tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.

Critics painted her as a Hollywood elite out of touch with the state’s citizens, although she also was known as a high-profile fan of the state’s famous Kentucky Wildcats basketball team.

“Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate,” Judd wrote on Twitter. “I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months, who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader,” she wrote on Twitter.

“While that won't be me at this time, I will continue to work as hard as I can to ensure the needs of Kentucky families are met by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people & their needs, dreams, and great potential. Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth.”

Some Democrats were also concerned that a Judd run would hurt them statewide and that they would have a better chance with someone less high-profile. Democratic recruiting hopes now likely turn to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. 

NBC's Mike O'Brien contributed to this report.